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Breakthrough for women’s health at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The National Womem's Council of Ireland (NWCI) welcomes the decision of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment today to recommend a repeal of the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution and the introduction of legislation that would allow abortion for up to 12 weeks without restrictions as to reasons.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“The decisions by the Joint Oireachtas Committee today represent a breakthrough for women’s health in Ireland. This will be a crucial step to ensuring that doctors in Ireland will be able to care for all of women’s and girls’ healthcare needs. It is a clear recognition of the complexity of decisions in pregnancy and that these decisions are private and personal, never political.  The person who can best protect a developing life is the pregnant woman, in consultation with her doctor, and not the Constitution.”

Orla O’Connor continued,

“Ensuring that there is a protected period in early pregnancy where abortion will be available to all women who need it is key to ensuring access to healthcare for all women, including those who have become pregnant as a result of rape."

Orla O’Connor said,

“We know that abortion and its place in the Constitution is a highly contested issue that has often led to emotionally-charged and polarised debate. We commend the work of the chair and the  members of the Oireachtas Committee who have faced difficult questions around pregnancy care and abortion with openness, honesty and a genuine interest in women’s health and well-being. We call on all political parties and Oireachtas Members to carefully consider the recommendations of the Committee in their deliberations going forward. This is a historical opportunity for Ireland to ensure that we can provide the full range of healthcare services to all women and girls who need them.”


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, NWCI, Tel. 085 858 9104, silkep@nwci.ie  

Notes to Editor: 

The National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) is Ireland's largest women's representative organisation with over 180 members from across the country. 

NWCI recently launched Every Woman - A Model for Reproductive Healthcare in Ireland. You can find more information on everywoman.nwci.ie