Press Statement from Coalition to Repeal the Eight Amendment
The Citizens’ Assembly have made clear that the Oireachtas must assume responsibility for legislating for abortion. That’s according to the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment.
Commenting today (23.04.17), Ailbhe Smyth, Convenor of the Coalition, said: “The Assembly members have recommended this matter be put fairly and squarely in the hands of the legislators – where it should always have been.
“Our politicians know it is their duty, as members of the Oireachtas, to make laws. When circumstances and public opinion are clearly demonstrating an urgent need for new legislation, they cannot shirk their responsibility.
“The Government cynically established the Citizens’ Assembly to avoid making difficult decisions themselves. Through their hard work and dedication, the Assembly members concluded what the Government should have known all along: that is the role of the legislature to legislate.
“This puts it up to our politicians now. There’s nothing left for them to hide behind; they need to get on with addressing this issue once and for all.”
‘Real Step Towards Ending Abortion Ban’
Ms. Smyth said that, overall, the recommendations from the Citizens’ Assembly represent a “real step towards ending Ireland’s abortion ban”.
“An overwhelming majority of Assembly members – 87 per cent – voted for reform of abortion law,” she said. “It’s evident they want women to be able to access abortion here.
“Overall, this is a real step towards ending the abortion ban and ensuring our health services provide the full spectrum of care that women need, and that women’s rights are honoured and respected.
“The final round of voting this afternoon demonstrated that a caring understanding of women’s needs prevailed amongst Assembly members. This is a strong mandate for providing access to abortion in this country.”