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UN findings highlight the need for urgent action in relation to the Eighth Amendment – O’Reilly

9 June, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health spokeswoman Louise O’Reilly has said that the findings of the UN in the Mellet case issued today are a damning indictment of the situation of women in Ireland today, saying “this report should serve as a wakeup call to this government and to every deputy in the Dáil that action is needed now”.

The description of the ordeal endured by Ms Mellet should serve as a warning to all politicians that women cannot wait any longer. The report found:

“The State party should amend its law on voluntary termination of pregnancy, including if necessary its Constitution, to ensure compliance with the Covenant, including effective, timely and accessible procedures for pregnancy termination in Ireland, and take measures to ensure that healthcare providers are in a position to supply full information on safe abortion services without fearing being subjected to criminal sanctions.”

Speaking today, Deputy O’Reilly said:

“The Taoiseach has repeatedly told the Dáil that this matter will be dealt with by a Citizens Assembly, but the timeframe has been vague and there are no published terms of reference.

“I was not shocked at the findings of this report because there is nothing new in this. The description of the ordeal endured as a result of inaction by our state is one which has touched the lives of most of us directly or indirectly. Today in the Dáil, I asked a government minister if he thought it was OK for women to have to wait and wait, and I’m afraid that the answer was nothing more than a fudge. This ruling today highlights the need for action.” 

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