Category: Choice

Think Left Dun Laoghaire – A Day of Debate and Discussion

We are witnessing unprecedented levels of inequality.
Eight billionaires own the same amount of wealth as half the world’s

population – or 3.6billion people.

We need a genuine radical left alternative that challenges capitalism

– rather than propping it up.

To do this, we need to think about alternatives, policies and

The Think Left conference is your opportunity to engage in this

Come along and join in.
Hosted by People Before Profit Dún Laoghaire
For more information text INFO to 087 283 9964.

Thousands of women will be forced to continue to travel due to betrayal

repealAt a press conference on the Dail plinth today, AAA-PBP TDs responded to the government’s plan to table a counter-motion to the Repeal Bill which will prevent it from progressing through the Dail.

Ruth Coppinger TD said “This is a sell-out and betrayal by the Independent Ministers like Katherine Zappone, John Halligan and Shane Ross.

“Ministers, who said they are in favour of repeal, will line up and vote as part of the government against repealing the 8th amendment. They are putting their ministerial seats before the health and lives of women.

“This vote will guarantee that no referendum will take place during the life-time of this government. By the time the Citizens’ Assembly reports back, the Oireachtas Committee sits and then a Bill is passed through both houses, the earliest opportunity for a referendum will be late 2018 or early 2019, by that stage this government may not be in power. They have sent a clear message to women telling them they can continue to wait.”

Bríd Smith said: “I am absolutely furious with the ‘so-called’ independents who are co-operating with Fine Gael to practically ensure that the 8th Amendment is not dealt with in the life time of this Government.

“To fob us off with the reliance on the adjudication of a Citizen’s Assembly of 99 people is not good enough. It is undemocratic. It prevents thousands of young people who never had a chance to vote on abortion or women’s bodily autonomy from having their say on the 8th.”

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


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.”

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A survey by the Irish Independent of Fine Gael TDs has produced a shock result. Only one quarter say they favour abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormality.

amooneyAnnette Mooney, People Before Profit candidate for Dublin Bay South said: “If only a quarter of Fine Gael TDs agree to terminations in cases of fatal foetal abnormality, it shows that the medieval wing of the party is in the ascendant.

“Only the most barbaric politician would demand that women go through with pregnancy when there is no chance that the foetus can live.

“The total lack of compassion shows that this party will put dogma ahead of real human tragedy. The party prefers to maintain support from its conservative rural base than take the tiniest of steps to give women their rights.

“There is sometimes a myth that Fine Gael is dominated by D4 liberals but this poll shows that these are only a minority. The party remains what it always was – a coalition between the representatives of the big farmers and a small layer, of what its former leader Richard Mulcahy once called, ‘the Donnybrook set’.

“The liberalism of this latter grouping is skin deep. It was the so called liberal leader of Fine Gael, Garrett Fitzgerald, who gave his full backing to the eight amendment. This equated the life of a women with that of a few day old embryo.

“Fine Gael should not be allowed to hide behind Enda Kenny’s promise that the issue will be referred to a citizens’ assembly. Each Fine Gael candidate, who is running for elections should be asked to state clearly their view on this topic.

“From this survey, it is clear that women will never achieve their full rights in Ireland while a conservative party like Fine Gael is in government.

“It is time for change – we need a real left government to legislate for a sharing of the wealth and real equality for women”

Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People Before Profit Alliance receives award for Dail Speech of the Year for his contribution to debate on Fatal Fetal Abnormalities in February 2015.IMG_0877

Watch FULL speech below:

People Before Profit reiterate support for a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment
Brid-Smith-2a-241x300People Before Profit spokesperson and general election candidate, Bríd Smith, has reiterated her support for a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment. Councillor Smith said that the 8th amendment is an infringement on the rights of women across Ireland.

Councillor Smith said “People Before Profit fully support the campaign to repeal the 8th amendment. The presence of the 8th amendment in the Irish constitution is totally discriminatory against all women living in Ireland. Due to the 8th amendment a woman’s life is equated to that of a foetus or embryo. It shows that women are viewed in our constitution as second class citizens.

Councillor Smith continued to say “every day in this state, 10 women and girls who have an unplanned or a crisis pregnancy are forced to go over to England for an abortion. Then there are the women who cannot afford to go over the UK such as women on low incomes, asylum seekers or undocumented women.”

Councillor Smith concluded by saying “this is a human rights issue. Ireland has been criticized in the past by the UN committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for the restrictive and draconian laws on abortion that we have in this country. The fact of the matter is there is overwhelming support across the country for a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment .”

Richard Boyd Barrett speaking on the fatal foetal abnormalities amendment

Richard Boyd Barrett speaking on Abortion Bill

In a statement t last night, Cllr Melisa Halpin (People Before Profit) announced that her motion calling on the government to have a referendum to Repeal the Eighth Amendment was passed by 16 votes to 12 at Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council meeting.

Cllr Halpin’s motion was supported by her other two People Before Profit councillors, some members of Labour and Fine Gael and two independents.  Sinn Fein abstained from voting and Fianna Fail voted against or abstained.
melisa_halpinCllr Melisa Halpin said: “For too long women have been denied access to their rights in Ireland.  Since the Eighth Amendment to the constitution in 1983 more than 150,000 women have been forced to travel abroad for abortions, we have seen over and over again tragic cases like Ms X, Ms A, B, C and D, Savita Halappanavar and most recently Ms Y.
The Ms Y case shows how utterly inadequate the Protection of Life during Pregnacny Act is and it is now abundently clear that the Eight Amendment needs to be repealed without delay,
I am delighted this motion was passed this evening and I will continue to fight for a woman’s right to choose in this country because as long as we are denied this right we are essentially second class citizens”.

In a statement this evening People Before Profit announced that they will be taking part in the Abortion Pill Train to Belfast tomorrow.

A number of pro choice activists including Councillors and TD’s will be travelling to Belfast and will bring Abortion Pills back to Dublin with them.

Richard - Copy (2)Richard Boyd Barrett TD and Cllr Melisa Halpin (Dun Laoghaire) and Cllr Deirdre Wadding (Wexford) will be taking part in the action to highlight the lack of any real choice for pregnant women and girls in Ireland today.

In 1971 a number of activists took the famous “Contraception Train” to Belfast and returned with condoms which were then illegal in the Republic of Ireland.  The action tomorrow will remember the women of 1971 and will show the hypocrisy of the Irish State, whose regime has seen over 150,000 women travel abroad for abortions in the last 30 years.

Cllr Melisa Halpin said:  “Abortion is a lived reality for Irish women North and South. Women who have neither the means nor the ability to travel to England to have an abortion are increasingly turning to organisations like Women on Web to access safe abortion. Today’s action is about calling time on the Irish State’s hypocrisy on abortion and demanding access to free, safe and legal abortion in Ireland.”

Cllr Deirdre Wadding added: “I think it is essential that women have a choice and I am happy to be part of this action to highlight the fact that Irish women have no choice and that they have to travel to access options.  Having been through the experience in 1981 of being a pregnant teenager sent to a mother and baby home, I believe none of us have the right to make choices for anyone else and every woman must have access to a full range of options.”

Richard Boyd Barrett TD added: “I am travelling to Belfast tomorrow as an act of solidarity with all the women who have had to travel to access their right to choose.  In the last decades we have seen the horrendous cases of Ms X, A, B, C, D and the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar, all because women in Ireland do not have the rights that their counterparts in the rest of Europe have.  Most recently the case of Ms Y shows the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act to be a total travesty.  If we are to get real rights for women in Ireland we will need to Repeal the 8th Amendment.”