Campaign calls for a referendum on the Repeal of the 8th Amendment and for the provision of free, safe and legal abortion to be available in Ireland

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Today, People Before Profit launched their Pro-Choice campaign in Buswell’s Hotel. People Before Profit are a pro-choice party who believe that abortion should be available without limitations other than the consent of the woman concerned like for the decision to access any other medical procedure. People Before Profit are calling for a referendum to be held within the next six months on the issue of the 8th Amendment.

People Before Profit will be calling for a full Repeal of the 8th and will be campaigning for the provision of free, safe and legal abortions to be made available in Ireland.

People Before Profit announced a series of events leading up to the moving of the AAA-PBP Bill for a referendum to be held to Repeal the 8th Amendment including a public meeting to be hosted by Bríd Smith TD in the Central Hotel in Dublin on the 13th September and the annual March for Choice on the 24th September. At the public meeting on the 13th, People Before Profit will launch their Repeal the 8th– Time for Choice booklet.

People Before Profit are calling for their Private Members Bill to be accepted in a vote by Dáil Éireann so that the people of Ireland, and most importantly the women of this country can have their say over this barbaric piece of the constitution which denies them their basic human rights of bodily autonomy.

Attending the press launch were Bríd Smith TD; Adrienne Wallace, People Before Profit member and pro-choice activist; Dr Peadar O’Grady, Doctors for Choice.

Bríd Smith said that it is essential that the Dáil votes in favour of the AAA-PBP Bill to hold a referendum on the 8th Amendment. She said “for too long women in this country have been persecuted by this barbaric section in the constitution. It is about time that women had a chance to vote for the abolition of the 8th. I am calling for the TD’s in the Dáil to vote in favour of our Bill so that the country can vote in a referendum to Repeal the disgusting 8th Amendment.

“The presence of the 8th Amendment in the Irish constitution represents an attack on the human rights of all women in this country. Due to the 8th Amendment women are unable to have bodily autonomy like men do in Ireland today. Twelve women every day in Ireland make the journey abroad to England or elsewhere to have abortions. This has to be stopped.”

“I have been campaigning for the Repeal of the 8th for a long time. In this day and age it is a scandal that such an article still exists in the constitution of a supposedly modern country. The statistics are there for all to see in regards to public opinion. The people in this country not only want their say on the matter via a referendum, but we can also see, in the Amnesty International/Red C Research & Markets poll, stats which showed 87% of the public want access to abortions to be widened and 72% of people want abortion decriminalised.

“People Before Profit are proudly a pro-choice party and we will be campaigning for full Repeal of the 8th Amendment. Only women can make the decision on what they want to do with their bodies. Women cannot wait, we must Repeal the 8th.”

Adrienne Wallace said “The 8th is a barbaric piece of the constitution which discriminates against women and essentially treats women in Ireland as second class citizens due to the fact that it prevents us from having full bodily autonomy- something which men have.

“There are many other women who are not reported as procuring abortions or who are unable to travel due to the financial cost. Due to the fact that they cannot afford to travel abroad for an abortion working class women are punished doubly.”

“There is no argument at all for holding off on a referendum to Repeal the 8th. The government are merely stalling by confusing the matter with a citizen’s assembly. We already have a citizen’s assembly- the Dáil. We the people elected the TD’s in there to deal with matters such as this. There is no need for a citizen’s assembly.”

Dr Peadar O’Grady of Doctors for Choice said “It is clearly unacceptable that Ireland’s laws criminalise women who access medical abortions and drive other women abroad. Abortion should be regulated, like any other part of the health service. There is no medical need for specific laws to regulate abortion. Abortion is a healthcare issue; restricting access to abortion is a political issue. We need to Repeal the 8th Amendment and take politics out of healthcare.”