Women give their reaction to the referendum recognising the equal right to life of the pregnant woman and the unborn.
In a referendum on the 7 September 1983 Ireland voted to recognise the equal right to life of the pregnant woman and the unborn. The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution was approved with 66.9% of the electorate voting in favour of the amendment and was subsequently signed into law on 7 October 1983. Abortion had been a criminal offence in Ireland since 1861.
In the aftermath of the referendum, RTÉ's Women's Programme spoke to some women about how they voted and the factors that influenced their decision. All of the women interviewed claimed to have voted yes on a number of grounds and largely based on religion.
I thought being a Catholic that I should vote yes.
I'm completely anti-abortion now.
I don't think it will stop people going to England to have abortions.
Not knowing whether to go either or, I thought I would be on the safe side in voting yes.
I really believe the baby needs to be protected.
I believe in what I believe in and that's it.
I think everybody has a right to life.
I went by whatever the Priest said because I thought that he should be right.
'Women's Programme: Ireland After The Amendment' was broadcast on 14 November 1983. The reporters are Marian Finucane and Doireann Ní Bhriain.