– Together for Yes says women continue to face obstacles to accessing abortion in Ireland –
Leaders of the Together for Yes movement are today (25.05.21) marking the third anniversary of the vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution.
Ailbhe Smyth, Orla O’Connor and Gráinne Griffin, Co-Directors of Together for Yes, have called for an independent, expert-led review of the legislation introduced in the wake of the ‘Repeal’ vote. They say women continue to face obstacles to accessing abortion in Ireland under the terms of the current legislation, due to limited coverage across the country and rigid interpretation of the law.
Commenting today, the Together for Yes Co-Directors said: “It is three years since the people of Ireland overwhelmingly voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment and enable the provision of abortion in Ireland. Since the legislation was enacted in 2019, over 7,000 women who would previously have been forced to travel have been able to access safe and legal abortion through their local GPs and health centres.
“Today’s anniversary of repealing the Eighth Amendment is happening at a critical moment, as the Government is preparing for the review of the legislation to provide abortion in Ireland.
“We know that many women continue to face obstacles to accessing abortion under the terms of the current legislation, due to limited coverage across the country, the restrictive terms of the legislation, and rigid interpretation of the law. There are serious gaps and deficits in service provision, including with regard to hospital provision. Only 11 of 19 hospitals are currently providing the full range of necessary services. This needs to change.
“Together for Yes is calling for the forthcoming review of abortion legislation to be focused on the evidence and experiences of all those who have used abortion services in Ireland over the past two years, as well as those still forced to travel because they could not access the services they needed due to the shortcomings of the current law.”
The Together for Yes Co-Directors said the upcoming review should be “independent and expert-led”, including experts in reproductive health and key stakeholders.
“We are requesting that Minister Stephen Donnelly and the Department of Health urgently meet with us and other key representative organisations to ensure this review will deliver effectively for women who need abortions and who have the right to full reproductive healthcare in Ireland,” they said.