On 25th May, vote Yes to repeal the Eighth
An unintended or crisis pregnancy is a traumatic event in a woman’s life. The Irish Family Planning Association supports women and girls who experience unintended or crisis pregnancies, whatever their decision.
Some women decide that the right decision for them is not to continue the pregnancy. No woman wants to have an abortion and no woman takes the decision lightly. Her reasons are always personal, private and complex.
But under current Irish law, termination of pregnancy is only lawful if a woman’s life is at risk.
It is not lawful if a woman’s health is at risk, if she is pregnant because of rape or incest, if she has received a diagnosis of fatal foetal anomaly or for any other reason.
We believe that the law in Ireland should allow all women who need abortion care to receive it in Ireland.
As Ireland’s leading provider of non-judgmental, nondirective pregnancy counselling, the IFPA hears from women and girls every day about the harms caused by the denial of abortion care in Ireland, the extra burdens imposed on them during a vulnerable time.
Women are forced to travel to unfamiliar cities to access abortion services outside the state, without a proper referral from their doctors. This causes distress, anxiety, financial cost and risks to their health. It results in women from Ireland accessing abortion later than residents of the UK, and being more likely to have surgical than medical abortion.
The unregulated use of abortion pills ordered online is increasing rapidly. Women are risking getting medication that could be inactive, inadequate or potentially harmful. And they have to use the medication without the care of a doctor or with only limited online support.
This is an unacceptable level of care for women in Ireland. It is caused by the Eighth Amendment.
The Eighth Amendment stands in the way of good healthcare. It forces doctors to prioritise the continuance of the pregnancy over the health of the pregnant woman — even when the pregnancy could result in serious and long-term impacts on the woman’s health and wellbeing.
We can’t allow this to continue. On May 25th we have an opportunity to change it.
By voting Yes to repeal the Eighth Amendment:
- We can end the harms of the 8th Amendment and create a compassionate and caring Ireland for women faced with a crisis pregnancy.
- We can allow doctors to treat pregnant women without fear of breaking the law or facing prosecution.
- We can provide care to women whose pregnancy involves a risk to their health, women pregnant as a result of rape or women who face a diagnosis of fatal foetal anomaly the option of ending the pregnancy early in Ireland.
- We can ensure that women and girls are no longer exposed to the risks of unregulated use of abortion pills from online providers.
- We can ensure that women can receive the highest possible standard of healthcare in pregnancy at home in Ireland with the medical supervision of their doctors.
The IFPA is a proud member of Together for Yes, the national civil society campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment. Together we are campaigning for a more compassionate Ireland that provides abortion care to women who need it.