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Only a Yes vote can change Irish law on abortion

17 May 2018

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Speaking at the launch of the latest Labour posters in the referendum to repeal the 8th amendment, Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin said that only a Yes vote on the 25th May can deliver a change to our laws, and ensure that our women are no longer exported, but treated with care and compassion in Ireland.

Deputy Howlin said:

“With one week left, the Labour Party will be mobilising across Ireland to deliver a Yes vote, and ensure we can change our laws on abortion rather than relying on laws made in other countries.”

“The mission for the Yes side over the next week now is to have conversations with undecided voters and address the concerns of those who have doubts. The only way to change Irish law is to repeal the 8th amendment.

“Specifically, we must reinforce the reasons why the Oireachtas committee and the proposed heads of bill recommended 12 weeks as it is the only way to address the cases of rape and incest, and recognise that women in Ireland already use the abortion pill up to 12 weeks.

“The poll today shows that a majority believe this is a reasonable compromise, and will improve the current situation. A large proportion also believes the law needs to change but thinks 12 weeks go too far. It is our job now to outline why the law must change and that this is the correct and sensitive way to do it.

“The No side have sought to distract and play down the reality of these cases - the countless stories from women across Ireland who have had to travel for a termination for a fatal foetal abnormality, or the 12 year old victim of rape who had to travel for a termination in the UK last year

“This is the lived reality of the 8th amendment

“For care, compassion and change only a Yes vote can change the status quo.

“We must stop exporting our women to England and for our daughters, mothers, sisters and friends we must repeal the 8th amendment.”