Citizens’ Assembly recognises that change is required to Irish abortion laws – Irish Council for Civil Liberties
Today (22 April 2017), the overwhelming majority of members of the Citizens’ Assembly voted to change Ireland’s abortion laws. By a margin of 87% to 13%, the citizens recommended that Article 40.3.3 or the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution must be removed.
Following a further vote, the Assembly also concluded that the Oireachtas should be given exclusive powers to legislate on abortion laws, the ICCL Deputy Director, Deirdre Duffy, commented,
‘The Assembly members have today confirmed what we know to be public opinion on access to abortion throughout Ireland. Article 40.3.3 or the Eighth Amendment must go if we are to protect the health and safety of women.’
Ms Duffy continued,
‘If Article 40.3.3 is removed from the Constitution by referendum, the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, remains the law governing access to abortion unless the Oireachtas passes new legislation. Regulating access to abortion services through legislation is normal practice in other countries and any such law-making, would continue to be underpinned by constitutional principles.
However, removing the stranglehold of Article 40.3.3 would allow discussions to be framed by medical and healthcare policy, and international best practice. Any legislation or policy proposals could be benchmarked also against Ireland’s international human rights obligations, an option which is currently not available to legislators.’
Contact: ICCL Communications at 087-9981574, or at email@example.com
Note to Editors: Full results of today’s votes can be found https://www.citizensassembly.ie/en/Meetings/Fifth-Meeting-of-the-Citizens-Assembly-on-the-Eighth-Amendment-of-the-Constitution.html.