Today (25/5) marks one year since the people of Ireland voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment and allow for free, safe and legal abortion access. The referendum showed the power of grassroots pro-choice movements, but our work is far from over.
Paula Dennan, Kerry for Choice spokesperson said: “Today is the anniversary of a momentus vote for reproductive rights and abortion access in Ireland. We held meetings. Protested. Spoke to people at information stalls. Wore badges. Held local actions. Had difficult conversations with family, friends and colleagues. Canvassed across the county and on May 25th 2018 the people of Kerry voted Yes to repealing the Eighth Amendment.”
She continued: “Our work is far from over and we must continue to fight for abortion services that are truly free, safe, legal and local. The 3-day waiting period is unnecessary, goes against medical best practice and places additional barriers in the way of people living in rural areas and marginalised people. Provision around the country is inconsistent with some counties having no GPs signed up to the HSE’s MyOptions Helpline. Women in Kerry who need to access abortion services between 9 and 12 weeks must travel to hospital in Cork or Waterford.”
“Many people fall outside the restrictive 12-week limit and others, who should meet the criteria to receive care at home, are travelling due to the overly cautious interpretations of the law from doctors fearing criminal sanctions.” Ms Dennan continued
“We await legislative changes around safe access zones and rogue crisis pregnancy agency regulation because pregnant people must be able to access the healthcare they need free from harassment and misinformation.”
She concluded: “We are an all island campaign and support our siblings in Northern Ireland in their call for abortion rights in the North. We face different laws, but it is the same fight because reproductive rights should not stop at the border.”