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NWCI welcomes strong mandate for the Special Oireachtas Committee to repeal the Eighth Amendment

Published: Thursday, June 29, 2017

NWCI has welcomed the Citizens Assembly report on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. In particular, NWCI welcomes the clear recommendation to remove the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution, to legislate for abortion on-request and the wider recommendations on reproductive healthcare, sexual health and relationship education and the improvement of obstetric care and services for pregnant women in Ireland.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“Justice Mary Laffoy provided the Citizens’ Assembly with a balanced, evidence based discussion on the Eighth Amendment to inform Government action on this issue.  And the message of the citizens to the Special Oireachtas Committee is very clear. If we want to ensure the best healthcare for women in Ireland, we need to repeal the Eighth Amendment and introduce legislation that puts women’s health and well-being at the centre. As advocated by NWCI, this must include a period where women can access abortions without restrictions in early pregnancy and on specific grounds  after this initial period.”

She continued,

"The members of the Assembly were invited to include individual comments in the report; it is clear from these comments that they fear their conclusions won’t be given due regard by the Oireachtas. They include a resounding collective call to implement their recommendations."
“Political commitment and action will also be required to implement the other very important recommendations in relation to women’s reproductive healthcare in Ireland, of which access to abortion is just one, though crucial element. If we want women to realise their right to health, including their right to reproductive health, we must look at developing and promoting health education and support services and ensure they are properly funded.”

Orla O’Connor concluded,

“Women’s lives are complex, and decisions around reproductive health can be complex. We know that the Constitution is not the place to deal with the complexities of women’s lives and decisions, nor with the provision of comprehensive, quality healthcare. We need to reimagine how we treat all women who are pregnant and support them in the decisions they make about their health and lives.” 


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

Notes to the Editor
NWCI is the national representative group for women’s groups and organisations in Ireland. We have been mandated by our 180 groups’ strong membership to advocate for the introduction of free, safe and legal abortion in Ireland. NWCI has recommended to the Citizens Assembly to call for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment and for the introduction of legislation that would allow a woman to access abortion on request with no restrictions in early pregnancy and in certain circumstances thereafter.