Sinn Féin - On Your Side

BPAS helpline for Irish women another example of Irish state failing its citizens – O’Reilly

1 September, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD


Responding to the news that the British Pregnancy Advisory Service is to provide a helpline to Irish women, Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly has said that Irish laws have a chilling effect on the provision of health supports for Irish women.

Deputy O’Reilly said:

“That services and organisations in another country and jurisdiction are stepping up to provide a helpline specifically for Irish women is another example of the Irish state failing its citizens.

“It is clear that the laws in Ireland as they currently exist, underpinned by the Eight Amendment, have a chilling effect on the provision of vital health support, information and aftercare services to women in Ireland. This is unacceptable.

“We, as legislators and as human beings can no longer bury our heads in the sand on these issues and we can no longer ignore the very real and harrowing circumstances that Irish women face on a day to day basis. The cases of Amanda Mellett, the Two Women Travel twitter account and others are representative of the appalling vista that Irish women face. 

“For services in another country to feel compelled to provide a service which health authorities in this State should provide is a damning indictment of the failures of the Irish state and its Government.

“It is very clear that action on the Eighth Amendment cannot wait any longer. There is a groundswell of support for its repeal. Indeed, the fact that BPAS are intervening in this way to support Irish women shows the unsustainable nature of the current situation. This issue will not go away. More women will continue to make the journey to England, more women will rely on health services and supports in other jurisdictions and more pressure will be brought to bear on the Government.”

Connect with Sinn Féin