Timeline The A to X of abortion in Ireland
1983Referendum leads to constitutional amendment recognising the right to life of the unborn child.
1986High Court rules that the availability to women in Ireland of information on abortion outside the State is in breach of Constitution, as under the 1983 amendment it undermines right of the child to life. Decision is affirmed by the Supreme Court two years later.
1992X case in which High Court ruling prevents a 14-year-old rape victim from travelling abroad for an abortion.
The injunction on her freedom of movement, which was sought by the then attorney general Harry Whelehan, is appealed to the Supreme Court and overturned, as the girl’s life is deemed to be at risk through the threat of suicide.
1992Two referendums are held and further vary the Constitution by protecting the right of the mother to travel and to receive information on services abroad.
1997C case emerges in which a teenager becomes pregnant as a result of rape and seeks an abortion in the UK.
1999The government publishes a Green Paper outlining several options on the approach to abortion. These include constitutional and legislative changes, among them the complete ban on abortion; a restriction in the application of the X case in further cases, and legislation to regulate abortion in respect of the X case.
2000An all-party Oireachtas committee publishes a paper following talks, which fails to gain a consensus .
2002A referendum for an amendment aimed at setting aside the threat of suicide as grounds for a legal abortion is narrowly defeated.
2010After three women take a case against Ireland, the European Court of Human Rights rules the State has failed to provide clarity on the legal availability of abortion in circumstances where the mother’s life is at risk.
October 2012Savita Halappanavar dies in Galway University Hospital a week after she was admitted while pregnant. Her husband says she repeatedly asked for her pregnancy to be terminated but this was refused because there was a foetal heartbeat.
Three investigations into her death are ongoing.
November 2012Expert group reports to Minister for Health James Reilly on options for implementing European Court of Human Rights judgment.
December 2012Government decides the implementation of this judgment by way of legislation along with regulations offers the most appropriate method for dealing with the issue.