This 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.
The Labour Party has said that it favours legislating for abortion beyond there being a risk to the life of a woman, including a risk of suicide to include legal provision for abortion where there is a fatal foetal abnormality or a risk of significant injury to the physical health of a woman – this would require a repeal of the Eighth Amendment.
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2) By email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Suggested subject line: Keep to Labour values and policy
I am writing to ask that you and your party vote in favour of the Private Member’s Bill to hold a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment on the 12th of May. In 1983 the Labour party stood firm in favour of women’s rights and were opposed to the to the Eighth Amendment. Indeed you have also said that this amendment “does not actually serve women well when issues of their life, their safety, their health, are in question.”
The Labour Party has also said that it favours legislating for abortion beyond there being a risk to the life of a woman, including a risk of suicide to include legal provision for abortion where there is a fatal foetal abnormality or a risk of significant injury to the physical health of a woman – which would require a repeal of the Eighth Amendment.
This could be the final opportunity the government has to better the lives of women in Ireland by safeguarding them against unnecessary risks to their health, and by sparing them the trauma and stigma that accompanies the restrictive laws which force women to travel overseas to access healthcare.
Since election in 2011, Ireland has seen the death of Savita Halappanavar, the Ms Y case 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.
We acknowledge that the government broadened access to legal abortion in 2013 with the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act – but this law is not enough. If the Eighth Amendment remains in place, we will see more women suffering unnecessary trauma and more court cases against the state.
The people of Ireland want this law changed. In September 2014, a Sunday Independent/ Millward Brown poll found that of those who expressed an opinion, over 75% of people surveyed were in favour of holding a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.
Please ensure the wellbeing, the health, and the dignity of every citizen by voting to repeal the Eighth Amendment. We are depending on you.
3) via Twitter – @joanburton
4) via her Facebook page – facebook.com/joanburton