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Gavan welcomes Repeal Bill

27 March, 2018 - by Paul Gavan

Speaking in the Seanad this evening, Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan was clear in articulating Sinn Fein’s commitment to repealing the 8th amendment.  

Senator Gavan said:

“We welcome the Repeal Bill to the Seanad and it has our full support.

“The time for Irish citizens to have their say on the 8th Amendment is long overdue. You would have to be at least 53 years of age to have voted in 1983. It’s significant to note that no woman of childbearing age in this State has ever had a say on this issue, which has had such potential devastating consequences for their health and well being.

“It’s shocking to note that TD’s that call themselves ‘republican’ voted last week to try to deny our population a vote on this crucial issue.

“The 8th Amendment should never have been introduced into the constitution. In 1983, Sinn Féin campaigned against its introduction and in 2018 we will campaign for its removal.

“The 8th Amendment effectively puts the rights of a fertilized egg on a par with that of a pregnant woman; it denies women basic healthcare, and it has forced countless thousands of women into making dangerous decisions without access to medical supervision and care.

“This is a matter of public healthcare. The current situation whereby a woman cannot obtain an abortion until she is at risk of dying is barbaric. It is simply not tenable in any society that is serious about protecting the human rights of women.

“We must listen to the Master of the Rotunda, to the Master of Holles Street, to those who run our National Maternity Hospital. These are the professionals we trust with our lives. Let’s trust their advice – this amendment has to go.

“In the event that the amendment is successfully repealed, our party policy states that we would legislate for terminations in the case of rape, incest, foetal fatal abnormality, and where there is a threat to the women’s physical and/or mental health.

“I also welcome the motion proposed by the Sinn Féin Ard Chomairle for our forthcoming Ard Fheis, which recognises that the only compassionate way to legislate for abortion in the case of rape and incest is through access to terminations without restriction up until 12 weeks. It is also the only practical way to address the widespread use of the abortion pill. I fully endorse this decision by the Ard Chomairle and I will be calling on my party comrades to support the motion at our Ard Fheis in June.” 

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