Referendum Commission launches information campaign on Eighth Amendment

A guidebook is being distributed to 2.2 million homes around Ireland

Referendum Commission launches information campaign on Eighth Amendment

Leaflets to be distributed to every home in Ireland | Image via @RefCom_ie on Twitter

The Referendum Commission has launched its campaign to supply information about the upcoming vote on the Eighth Amendment.

Voters will go to the polls on Friday May 25th on a proposal to change the Constitution of Ireland.

The proposed change involves voting on whether or not to repeal the amendment which provides the equal right to life of the unborn and the mother.

Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, means that it is lawful for a pregnancy to be terminated only where the pregnancy poses a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother.

This includes a risk of suicide.

The proposal is to delete Article 40.3.3 and to insert in its place that: "Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy".

But the commission points out: "You are not being asked in this referendum to vote on any particular law relating to the termination of pregnancy."

A sample ballot paper | Image: Referendum Commission

Any person whose name is on the Register of Electors can vote. Registers are maintained by local city or county councils.

People are being advised to check the register to confirm they are on it.

The deadline to be included on the register is May 8th.

The commission members are chairperson Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy, the Ombusman Peter Tyndall, the clerk of the Dáil Peter Finnegan and the clerk of Seanad Martin Groves.

As well as providing information on its website, the commission is also distributing a guidebook to 2.2 million homes across the country.

Included in this booklet is information on the commission itself, the proposed change to the Constitution and the legal outcomes of both a Yes and No vote.

Polling stations will open from 7.00am to 10.00pm on May 25th.