Below is an open letter from the group Terminations for Medical Reasons group who are outraged at deceptive statements made by Enda Kenny in the Dáíl yesterday:
We in TFMR Ireland found it absolutely appalling that you deliberately mislead the Dail, the Oireachtas and the people of Ireland yesterday when in Dail Eireann made you made the following statement in relation to the 8th Amendment to the Constitution: –
“The fact of the matter is… there were three referenda after that and in each case, in each of those referenda by the people, not just by any parties, the people decided to keep that reference in the Constitution”
This was a false statement and one which we believe was intended to deceive the Dail, the Oireachtas, the people of Ireland and the watching world into believing that the Irish people have had three opportunities to determine whether or not to retain the 8th Amendment.
We would like to point out to you, Taoiseach, that the fact of the matter is that on no occasion since 1983 has any such choice been put to us. The facts of the matter are:
- In March 1992 the Supreme Court ruled in the X case that it was legally permissible to provide an abortion in the case where a women’s life is at risk as a result of suicide
- In November 1992, only 8 months after this ruling and without the establishment of a Citizen’s Assembly, the Government put a further three referenda to the people.
- the 12th Amendment sought to remove suicide (“the risk of self-destruction”) as a grounds for accessing abortion services to save the life of a women – DEFEATED.
- the 13th Amendment specified that the prohibition of abortion in Ireland would not limit freedom of travel in and out of the State – PASSED.
- the 14th Amendment specified that the prohibition of abortion in Ireland would not limit the right to distribute information about abortion services in foreign countries – PASSED.
- In 2002, the twenty fifth Amendment was put to the people which yet again sought to remove the risk of suicide as grounds to provide abortion services to a woman – DEFEATED.
There have been no other Referenda on abortion in Ireland since the insertion of the 8th Amendment. The people of Ireland have never had an opportunity to Repeal the 8th and could not therefore have, on three occasions “decided to keep that reference in the Constitution.”
You Taoiseach were a fervent advocate for the insertion of the 8th back in 1983 and have been complicit in the abuse of thousands of women in Ireland in the intervening period by continuing to deny them their Human Rights, as have been established by numerous International Human Rights bodies.
We are calling upon you to immediately correct the false statement you made in our Dail yesterday. Otherwise, we can only reasonably conclude that this false statement was deliberate if this is your position we call upon you resign as your position as Taoiseach would no longer be tenable.