New Taoiseach must stick to commitment to hold a referendum on abortion next year

Rallies to Repeal to take place this Saturday in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Kerry –

Newly-elected Taoiseach Leo Varadkar must stick to his commitment to hold a referendum on the Eighth Amendment in 2018. That’s according to the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, which is organising a series of rallies across the country this Saturday, 17th June.

Commenting today (15.07.2017), Ailbhe Smyth, Convenor of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, said: “Ahead of the rallies taking place nationwide this Saturday, we’re calling on our new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to stand by his commitment that there will be a referendum on the Eighth Amendment in 2018. We are calling for a date to be set for early 2018. There can be absolutely no further delays on this issue, and we will be holding the new Taoiseach to this commitment.

“The events of this week have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ireland’s reproductive health services are failing women and girls appallingly.  In the past few days, we’ve seen the sectioning of a child; Ireland’s severe condemnation by the UN for causing intolerable suffering to women and girls; and statistics on the thousands of Irish women forced to travel to England and Wales to obtain an abortion. This demonstrates once again how we, as a country, continue to bury our heads in the sand, and export the entire issue.

“The statistics on the number of women and girls travelling from Ireland to the UK show clearly that women do need and should be able to access abortion services here in Ireland. This week has proved yet again that the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act 2013 is worse than useless in responding to the real-life needs of women and girls here in this country.  The Eighth Amendment is a massive and outdated barrier to the health, safety, and human rights of girls and women. As long as it remains in the Constitution, horrific and traumatic cases will continue to occur every year with sad and deeply disturbing predictability.

“The Eighth Amendment has to go, and should be repealed in its entirety. Now, as he takes up his new role, the Taoiseach must show his mettle and act decisively to end this disgraceful disregard for the lives of women and girls in Ireland by setting a date for an early 2018 referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.”

Marches for Repeal in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Kerry

Ms. Smyth was commenting ahead of a series of rallies scheduled to take place across the country this Saturday, 17th June. The rallies will take place at the following locations:

  • The Dublin rally will take place at Central Bank, Dame Street, at 3pm.
  • The Galway rally will take place at Eyre Square at 2pm.
  • The Cork rally will take place at Grand Parade at 1.30pm.
  • The Kerry rally will take place at The Square, Tralee, at 1pm.