Ireland’s Abortion Failings to be Highlighted at High-Level EU Meetings

Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment invited to address several European meetings this week

Ireland’s failure to provide safe and legal abortion services will be highlighted by the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment at a number of high-level European meetings over the coming week.

Tomorrow, Thursday, 21st June at 4pm, Ailbhe Smyth, Convenor of the Coalition, will brief #ALLofUS, an influential cross-party group of MEPs working to secure the right to safe and legal abortion worldwide.

The briefing will focus on the current situation in Ireland and the role the European Parliament can play in supporting the Coalition’s advocacy work.

It will take place at the European Parliament, Rue Wiertz, Brussels, ASP 5 G 375. 

Earlier tomorrow, Ms. Smyth will meet with International Planned Parenthood Europe.  She will participate in a roundtable discussion with representatives of Sensoa, the Flemish Centre for Sexual Health, and LUNA, the umbrella organisation of Flemish abortion centres.  The event will begin at 12.30pm at the IPPF EN office, Rue Royale 55, 1000 Brussels.

Tomorrow evening, Ms. Smyth will be the guest speaker at an event organised by the Brussels networking organisation Idealist Quarterly.  Her address will focus on the topic of ‘Does Europe still need feminism?  Thoughts from an Irish activist’.  This event will take place at 6pm at Les Chemin des Vignes, Rue d’Idalie 27, 1050 Brussels. 

Council of Europe Conference

Following her engagements in Brussels tomorrow, Ms. Smyth will be in Strasbourg next week, where she will address the Council of Europe’s Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) next Tuesday, 27th June, at 1pm at the Palais de L’Europe, Strasbourg, France.

The Conference of INGOs is the chief representative body of INGOs and meets twice a year with the aim of increasing civic engagement across all EU member states.

At next Tuesday’s event, Ms. Smyth will contribute to a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Women’s Mobilisation in Europe 2017: What Impact on Policies’.

 Commenting ahead of her European engagements, Ailbhe Smyth said: “The Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment has over 90 organisations, representing 1.5 million Irish people.  We are the largest ever social movement focused on abortion rights in Ireland, and our growing size is indicative of the importance of this issue to people across the country.

“In most European countries, women are afforded access to reproductive healthcare, with the health, safety and wellbeing of pregnant women at the centre of all medical decisions.

“The issue of abortion in Ireland has been very much to the fore in the past week, with several sad cases such as the sectioning of a child seeking an abortion, a woman forced to travel to England to access abortion after discovering she was carrying a fatal foetal abnormality, and the case of two women who had attempted suicide and were refused access to abortion. Ireland is seriously out of step with other European States on this issue and, if recent events have taught us anything, it’s that the women of Ireland cannot wait any longer to be given full access to abortion services and to have their human rights respected.  I look forward to briefing MEPs and European organisations on the current situation in Ireland over the coming week.”