This coming week our elected representatives will debate on whether or not to call a constitutional referendum to Repeal the 8th Amendment. They will vote on a Private Members Bill on this issue the week after. Over the next week, we’re asking you to tell your TD to support this bill.
Since their election in 2011, our government has presided over and administered laws that resulted in the death of Savita Halappanavar, the cruel treatment of Ms Y and most recently, the heartbreaking case of P.P., a clinically dead woman kept alive artificially against the wishes of her family so that her foetus could be kept alive. The government broadened access to legal abortion in 2013 with the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act – but in the narrowest of terms. If a woman’s life is at risk and an abortion can save her, health-care professionals can now legally perform an abortion.
But this law is not enough.
If a woman’s health is at serious risk, if she has been raped, or is a victim of domestic violence, or is too poor to parent the children she already has, she cannot access an abortion. The TDs proposing the Bill to Repeal the 8th Amendment recognise this barbaric situation is unsustainable, but their voices alone are not enough to push for the change needed.
We need yours too.
Today, twelve women have made the journey to the UK to access abortion services, and many more have administered medication illegally at home, in order to have abortions. We should not have to beg for healthcare. This cannot continue.
This may well be the last time the current government debate abortion. If this is to be the last debate on abortion they sit through, let’s make our wishes clear. Over the next week, we’re asking you to tell your TD to support this bill.
Those opposed to women having control over their own health and accessing abortion are increasing their efforts right now. We fought hard to make sure that there is a legal framework in place to save a woman’s life if her life is at risk during her pregnancy, and there are people who want to take that life-saving protection away from us. There are TDs and Senators who support them, but they are forgetting one important thing – and that’s you.
We are counting on your support. Will you stand with us and tell your TD to vote in favour of holding a referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment?