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We can’t continue to compensate women for their suffering

Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) welcomes the offer of compensation by Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to Amanda Mellet arising from ruling of the UN Committee on Human Rights. The Government must now take action to ensure women are no longer subjected to suffering and discrimination as a result of Ireland’s restrictive abortion regime. NWCI calls on the Government to announce a date for a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,
“We welcome the offer of compensation by Minister Harris to Amanda Mellet. By doing so the Irish State recognises the UN Committee’s ruling that Ms Mellet was subjected to suffering and discrimination because she was forced to travel to seek an abortion after receiving a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality. We commend the courage of Ms Mellet and her husband to proceed with the case and endure the process and publicity around it.”
She continued,

“The actions by the Minister today have a wider significance. It’s an admission that the Government is failing women in Ireland in a horrendous manner and subjecting them to what is now recognised as inhumane and degrading treatment. It's an admission that we must remove the Eighth Amendment from our Constitution to provide women with appropriate supports and choices in pregnancy. The hypocrisy must end. NWCI is calling on the Government to announce a date for a referendum.”

For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, NWCI, Tel. 085 858 9104, E-mail: silkep@nwci.ie