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NWCI welcomes IHREC presentation on abortion

Published: Wednesday, October 04, 2017

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) today welcomed the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC)’s presentation to the Oireachtas Committee calling for the Government to remove the Eighth Amendment entirely, and legislate for access to publicly-funded abortion.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“The presentation made by IHREC to the Oireachtas Committee is hugely significant, as it is the first time that the Commission has advocated for the legalisation of general access to abortion in Ireland. Abortion is a personal decision, and it is welcome that IHREC clearly state that the decision should primarily be made between a woman and her doctor and be based on best medical practice. NWCI in particular welcomes the focus on a woman’s health in IHREC’s proposals for future legislation on reproductive healthcare. The Commission’s proposal is an important contribution to the discussion on the Eighth Amendment in which the public are being offered real solutions for Constitutional change that allow for the complexity of real life.”

Orla O’Connor continued,

“NWCI believes the current focus on the Eighth Amendment provides an important opportunity to create a new vision for healthcare in Ireland. The voices and experiences of women, couples, families and doctors tell us that Ireland needs to work towards a comprehensive, integrated public healthcare system that prioritises and provides for all reproductive health needs. Among other measures, this requires legislation that provides an option of abortion on request in early pregnancy, which will also support women who are pregnant as a result of rape.  For later term pregnancies there should be an option of abortion available on health grounds and in the cases of a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormalities. The Eighth Amendment has been proven, time and again, to be a fundamental barrier to legislation of this kind.”


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, NWCI, Tel. 085 858 9104.