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Time to move Bill for Referendum on Repeal of the Eighth Amendment – Mary Lou McDonald TD

7 March, 2018 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD today called on the Government to move the Bill for the referendum on the Eighth Amendment and to schedule a Dáil debate on the matter immediately.

Speaking at Leaders Questions, Teachta McDonald said:

“The Eighth Amendment represents a real and ongoing threat to the health and lives of Irish women.

“Our recent history is marked with so many tragic examples of that hard fact. The Eighth Amendment casts a cold shadow on medical practice.

“It places the threat of criminal sanction against doctors for making medical decisions in the best interests of the health of the woman. It has to go.

“The Eighth Amendment is a relic of an Ireland of the past.

“Yet it restricts the rights of women in the here and now and affects our welfare in a profound way.

“It should never have been inserted into our Constitution in the first place.

“The first piece of the puzzle is the moving of the Referendum Bill.

“Now that we have legal clarity, and given the unanimity of the Supreme Court decision, can I put it to you that the Cabinet meets with the Attorney General today on this matter?

“That the legislation be published today.

“That the Business Committee meets today and schedules a debate immediately, starting tomorrow.

And that we have a full day sitting on Friday to advance the legislation.

“Time isn’t on our side.

"We must create a better Ireland for our sisters, daughters and our granddaughters – for our women

“This is an opportunity to ensure that we are never again faced with the injustices and degradation that generations of Irish women have had to face.”

“The referendum will be about the whole of Irish society finally joining together and saying that women are entitled to their fundamental right to healthcare.”

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