Ireland’s ‘wait and see’ policy towards Eighth Amendment unacceptable – Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment

The Irish State’s policy of ‘wait and see’ when it comes to the issue of abortion is entirely unacceptable.  That’s according to Ailbhe Smyth, Convenor of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, reacting to the State’s hearing before the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva today.

Patricia O’Brien, Ireland’s Ambassador to the UN, appeared before the committee today, the first time in ten years that Irish officials have been  examined under CEDAW.  Commenting on the hearing, Ailbhe Smyth said, “At today’s hearing the Irish Government made no commitment to calling a referendum, and also failed to clarify how they would deal with the provision of abortion services in the event of repeal of the Eighth Amendment.  Their policy of waiting to see what results from the Citizens’ Assembly shows that the Government has no firm commitment to dealing with this issue.

“During the hearing the Irish delegation evaded answering direct questioning on the wording of a referendum, and presented no indication of a timeline as to when the referendum would take place.  The issue of abortion is not going away, regardless of the findings of the Citizens’ Assembly, and it’s time for the Government to act decisively and commit to dealing with it.”