Referendum – what happens next?

In the referendum held on 25 May 2018, a majority of voters approved a proposal to replace Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution with the text “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy”.

A provisional certificate stating the referendum result was published in Iris Oifigiúil (pdf) (the State Gazette) on 29 May 2018. If no petition challenging the result is presented to the High Court within 7 days of its publication, the certificate becomes final. The President will then sign the Bill to change the Constitution and the Constitution will be amended.

The amendment will allow the Oireachtas to pass laws regulating the termination of pregnancy. The Government has published an outline of the legislation that it plans to introduce (pdf).

Until new legislation is enacted, there is no change to the current legal situation. Abortion remains illegal in Ireland, except where there is a real and substantial risk to the life (as distinct from the health) of the mother.

Read more about this topic.