Report claims 100,000 lives saved because of Ireland's 8th amendment

The Pro Life Campaign commissioned the actuarial report

Report claims 100,000 lives saved because of Ireland's 8th amendment

Members of the Pro Life Campaign at an awareness event on Dublin's Grafton Street | Image: Pro Life Campaign

A new report claims some 100,000 lives have been saved because of Ireland's 8th amendment.

The Pro Life Campaign has commissioned an actuarial report to estimate how many lives have been saved because of the amendment.

While it says it is impossible to arrive at a precise figure, it compares Ireland with other countries which have abortion.

It also says a "conservative approach" was adopted at every stage of the analysis.

A range of countries were chosen for comparative purposes - England and Wales, Spain, Portugal and Belgium, while the year 1994 was chosen as a start date for the analysis.

It says there were 108,000 abortions on women from Ireland in England and Wales between 1994 and 2014.

Based on that number, the group claims 196,000 Irish citizens would not have been born if Ireland had the same abortion rate as England and Wales from 1994 to 2014.

Similarly, it claims if Ireland had the same abortion rate as Spain, 121,000 Irish citizens would not have been born.

And the group claims if Ireland had the same abortion rate as Belgium, 75,000 Irish citizens would not have been born.

While based on the same abortion rate as Portugal, it claims 58,000 Irish citizens would not have been born.

Katie Ascough is a student in UCD, and a spokesperson for Students for Life:

The report comes on the same day as thousands took part in a March for Choice in Dublin city centre.

On that march, the Pro Life Campaign says: "All laws affect behaviour. Those campaigning for repeal of the 8th amendment want the public to believe in the fiction that the law does not influence our behaviour and attitudes and that it will not result in more abortions.

"But if law has no impact on behaviour, why bother enacting any laws at all?

"The effect of the 8th amendment has been to help keep the Irish abortion rate at a small fraction of that of other western and EU countries. Removing constitutional protection for the unborn will inevitably result in more abortions by making access to abortion easier and by changing public attitudes towards the acceptability of abortion."