Let the Citizens’ Assembly know you support Repeal of the Eighth Amendment
Published: Thursday, November 24, 2016
The Citizens’ Assembly commenced its deliberations on 15 October 2016. The Assembly comprises of the chairperson, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court, and 99 citizens randomly selected on the basis of being representative of the Irish electorate in terms of gender, age and regional spread.
The Assembly’s first task will be to examine the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution (Article 40.3.3), which gives the same status and rights to a woman and a foetus, and continuously puts women’s lives and health in danger. It is expected that the Assembly will consider this topic over a series of meetings and that their conclusions will form the basis of recommendations to the State, in the first half of 2017.
The Assembly has opened a call for submissions from representative groups, citizen organisations and members of the public, which can be made online at www.citizensassembly.ie or by post to Citizens Assembly, 16 Parnell Square, Dublin 1. The closing date for receipt of submissions is Friday December 16th 2016.
The Assembly’s considerations will form the basis of a report and recommendations to the Government, expected by the end of June 2017.
NWCI hopes that by engaging with the Citizens’ Assembly we can facilitate the movement of the debate towards our goal of repealing the Eight Amendment from our Constitution. However we believe that there is strength in numbers, and in that respect we encourage all our members to make submissions directly to the Assembly outlining why it is important that we repeal the Eight Amendment.
NWCI will make a substantial submission making the case for the repeal (complete deletion) of the Eight Amendment from the constitution.
Given the critical importance of this issue for women across Ireland, we strongly encourage all of our members to make their own submissions directly to the Assembly.
For those seeking assistance in drafting submissions, please see these guidelines, which were drafted and provided by the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment. For further guidance you may wish to refer to NWCI’s policy position paper on abortion (2013).
Please note that submissions do not need to be long or detailed. If you do not have the time to draft a comprehensive paper, we suggest you submit a statement identifying your organisation and simply stating your position in support of repealing the Eighth Amendment. The secretariat of the Assembly has also invited personal testimonies of women who have been affected by the Eighth Amendment. It is important to note that all submission will be made public on the Assembly’s website. If you wish to present to the Assembly, it is important you make that known in your submission.
This is an important opportunity to facilitate a rational and reasoned national discussion.