The Workers’ Party have given a broad welcome to the commitment to holding a referendum on the 8th amendment issued by the Taoiseach on behalf of the cabinet last night (Monday). Speaking on behalf of the Workers’ Party, Cllr. Éilis Ryan (North Inner City) said:
“The announcement made by the Taoiseach is a credit to the tens of thousands of women and men who have never given up on this issue. In 1983, in 1992, in 2002 and ever since, politicians have not been allowed to forget the thousands of women each year forced out of their own country to access basic healthcare.
“It is these tens of thousands of women whose stories and lives should now be central to any referendum campaign. Those who oppose women’s right to control their own bodies have already begun to deflect attention away from this daily reality.”
Cllr. Ryan said the media would have a critical role in ensuring the debate is based on fact:
“Campaigners – particularly young people – have done trojan work, against fierce opponents, to force facts and evidence into the debate on access to abortion. Before and during the citizens’ assembly, and on the streets, the reality of when and why women choose to access abortions has finally been brought to the fore. The red herrings of those who claim to be ‘pro life’ have been shown up for what they are – misleading untruths.
“It is essential that the media now continue this work, by holding those who participate in debate during the referendum campaign to account. This means challenging spurious claims and sensationalised imagery, which do not reflect the reality of abortion.”
Cllr. Ryan concluded:
“Any amendment proposed must remove any shadow of constitutional prohibition on abortion entirely.”