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Unity needed to ensure 8th Amendment is repealed - Louise O’Reilly TD

9 March, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has called for unity of those on the campaign for the repeal of the 8th Amendment after criticism of her party by People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith over Sinn Fein’s abstention on her bill to amend the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act this week.

Teachta O’Reilly once again set out Sinn Féin’s reason for abstaining on the bill and went on to say that unless the political forces on the left who want to see the 8th Amendment of the Constitution repealed can come together then the campaign will be lost.

Speaking today she said;

“Unfortunately at last night’s Repeal the 8th Rally Bríd Smith used her opportunity to address the crowd to have a go at Sinn Féin over the stance we took on her bill in the Dáil this week.

“The reality is that the bill was fundamentally flawed as it did not address the issue of criminality and while it reduced the penalties for women who have an abortion it also reduced the penalties for back street abortionists who do harm to pregnant women.

“However, when I spoke in the Dáil on Tuesday evening I recognised that this bill was brought forward out of compassion and I welcomed the timing of the debate being on the eve of International Women’s Day.

“I also mentioned that repealing the 8th amendment is the only way to to give women the support and help that they need without criminalisation and that we will work with all those who are campaigning for repeal.

“It is just a pity that others who are on the same side of the argument would use a Coalition to Repeal the 8th platform to criticise a party, the largest party in fact, that is fully in support of its campaign.  

“That is madness and I can only assume it is done out of selfish party political interests.

“The reality is that unless all of the political forces who are campaigning for repeal can work together then this campaign will be lost for another generation.”


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