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Women tweeting abortion story need more than ‘thanks’ from Minister – O’Reilly

24 August, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health Louise O’Reilly TD has said that the Government need to do more than thank the two women who live tweeted their abortion story over the weekend. She said that the growing tide of support for repealing the 8th amendment has not gone away, and that Government need to take immediate action its obligations under UN law.

Deputy O’Reilly said:

“It is very clear that action on the eighth amendment cannot wait any longer. There is a ground swell of support for its repeal and the actions of the public- from public murals, clothing lines and poll results- indicate that they want a say on this issue. Indeed, the fact that two women turned to twitter to publicly chronicle their abortion story- that made by thousands of women every year- shows the level of discontent for the current situation.

“While Minister Harris took to twitter to thank the two women for their honesty in telling their story, the Taoiseach was noticeably silent. Thanks, however, are not what the women of Ireland need- repeal of the 8th amendment is.

“It is very clear that the Government’s only intention this term of addressing this issue is the citizen’s assembly. An Taoiseach was very clear last session about the need for every citizen from around the country, based on geography, gender and age to have their say on the 8th amendment, but what he fails to realise is that the best way for citizens to have their say is in a referendum. 

“A citizens’ assembly can have value as one part of a national conversation on the eighth amendment, but it of itself as the only Government response is not sufficient. It will not address Ireland’s obligations under UN law. 

“This issue will not go away. Politicians and the Dáil may be in recess, but the public will not let this issue lie. More women will continue to make the journey to England and more pressure will be brought to bear on the Government.” 

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