Ireland reached ‘tipping point’ against Eighth Amendment in 2016

Ailbhe Smyth, convenor of the Coalition
Ailbhe Smyth, convenor of the Coalition

The Eighth Amendment and access to abortion came to the fore in public discourse and consciousness in 2016, according to the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment’s annual review.

The document identifies legal and political milestones on the road to repealing Ireland’s Eighth Amendment from the past year, as well as the Coalition’s own growth in membership by 70 per cent.

The Coalition claims it is now the largest-ever civil society grouping in Ireland, with 77 member organisations representing 1.5 million people.

Ailbhe Smyth, convenor of the Coalition, said: “2016 proved to be a ‘tipping point’ for Repeal and throughout the year we have all worked extraordinarily hard to make repeal of the eighth and abortion a centrally important issue, and to broaden out to reach women and men all over Ireland.

“There can be no doubt that both the political and public consensus is that a referendum is inevitable. The Citizens’ Assembly must report back to Government on the 8th Amendment in June 2017 at the latest. Whatever their recommendations, the Coalition will continue to put pressure on Government to call a referendum without any further delay.

“We have said it many times and will go on saying it for as long as necessary: women cannot wait. The long-standing denial of women’s rights to bodily autonomy, to equality and to freedom from discrimination must end.”

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