Global Public Health

Due, in part, to the stigma against abortion—and depending on an individual’s clinic access, and the length of their pregnancy—some women may elect to order abortion pills online, as opposed to undergoing the more common suction abortion procedure. Assistant Professor of Public Affairs Abigail Aiken talks with The Cut about her latest research on reproductive health. 

Ireland’s landslide vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment of its Constitution signaled the end of one of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws. Just as remarkable as the “yes” vote itself, however, was the debate that led to the result — and how refreshingly different it was from the debate here at home. In Ireland, politicians actually listened to evidence, and they listened to women. In America, too many politicians have done neither, says LBJ Professor Abigail Aiken. 

It’s currently illegal to take abortion pills in Ireland. 

Because abortion pills are illegal in Ireland, there is no way of getting an exact figure on how many are being taken by women each year. Estimates are based on the number of pills sent out by telemedicine websites like Women on Web, drugs seizures made by Irish authorities, and some studies.

A referendum in Ireland will decide whether to repeal a constitutional amendment that effectively bans abortions. The country was the first in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through a popular vote. Is Ireland - once seen as one of Europe's more socially conservative countries - about to undergo more radical change? LBJ professor Abigail Aiken's research informs the debate. 

In May, Ireland plans to hold a referendum on whether to change its laws and allow unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy. The referendum, whose exact date has not yet been set, will ask voters whether they want to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution, which outlaws abortion.

This week, the Cabinet signed off on the wording for the referendum on the Eighth Amendment. It will ask voters whether or not the amendment should be repealed and replaced with new wording to be added to the Constitution.