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03rd Aug 2017

‘All pregnant women are at risk under the Eighth Amendment’


Today, between 10 and 12 women will leave Ireland for an abortion.

They travel to access services that their own country refuses to provide for them.

Under the Eighth Amendment, abortion is illegal except where there is a substantial risk to the life of the woman or girl. The law does not cover cases of rape, incest, or fatal foetal abnormality.

The campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment has gained considerable traction lately, with more and more people marching for choice every year.

Ireland’s abortion laws have been long criticised by human rights groups here and abroad, with Amnesty International calling for the “urgent reform” of the laws “which are among the most restrictive in the world.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that an abortion referendum will be held next year, but the Eighth Amendment does not just restrict abortion services – it affects everyone who has the potential to become pregnant in Ireland.

Amnesty International are asking every woman, man, and person in Ireland – and beyond – to watch this video.

Here they explain, in their own words, why the Eighth Amendment needs to be repealed.

“This week, we launched a video which shows how all women and girls in Ireland are at risk of having their human rights violated because of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.

“We wanted to make a film that would add to the conversation. We wanted to show that the Eighth Amendment isn’t just about abortion and that it affects every woman and girl in Ireland. We wanted to show how women from every corner of Ireland, from every background are at risk because of the Eighth Amendment.

“If you haven’t seen it yet, take a minute to watch it now.

“Whoever you are, wherever you live, all the decisions you make about your body should be yours. Sexual and reproductive rights are human rights. They guarantee that everyone should be able to make their own decisions about their bodies, get accurate information about their health care options, and access sexual and reproductive health services.

“The Eighth Amendment has an intolerable impact on women’s and girls’ health and choices. It can limit a woman’s right to make basic decisions about her own healthcare in pregnancy and about childbirth, and of course it severely limits access to abortion.

“We are campaigning to change this. We are calling for a legal and medical framework for abortion which respects the human rights of women and girls. We support calls for access to abortion on request at least in early pregnancy, and in later pregnancy in certain circumstances. We also call for the full decriminalisation of abortion.

“To achieve this, the Eighth Amendment must be repealed in its entirety.

“We have a chance to make a real difference to women and girls in Ireland. Together, we can work to ensure that future generations of women and girls live in a society that respects, protects and fulfils their human rights.

Join our campaign today.”