Amnesty launch #RepealThe8th campaign to challenge Ireland’s ban on abortion

00 RepealThe8th panelMy Body My Rights is one of Amnesty’s world wide campaigns. Their European focus [and online petition] is the repeal of Ireland’s Eighth Amendment which equates the right to life of a pregnant woman with that of an embryo or foetus and is the foundation of the ban on abortion.

The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.

Personal stories from Tara Flynn (actress, comedian and author) and Jennifer Ryan (Terminations for Medical Reasons Ireland) were joined by testimony from Helen Linehan. Her husband Graham Linehan introduced a campaign video he has produced to support Amnesty’s Repeal The 8th campaign. Amnesty Ireland’s Colm O’Gorman also contributed along with campaign manager Grainne Teggart.

Participants spoke of a “failure in political leadership” in Ireland that was out of step with public opinion. In a Red C Research and Marketing survey in May 2015, 70% of respondents agreed that women have an international human right to abortion when their pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, where their life or health is at risk or in cases of fatal foetal impairment. 81% of respondents were in favour of widening the grounds beyond current law upon which a woman can lawfully access an abortion. Panellists contended that Ireland’s abortion law is a socio-economic health issue: put bluntly:

Women with money have options. Women who are poor have babies.

Meetings, interviews and events crammed my diary today. But the brave personal and harrowing tales from Tara, Jennifer, Helen and Graham at this morning’s Amnesty event are the ones that still crowd my mind as I type up this post this evening.

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  • eireanne

    many of the same arguments are put forward here

  • ted hagan

    I can understand the pros and cons of the abortion issue. I’m personally undecided; What confuses me is that Amnesty Ireland seems to have gone off on strange tangents, far removed from the original Amnesty remit. I am very disappointed.

  • 23×7

    So you are undecided whether a woman who has been raped should have access to abortion services? Good grief.

  • And how is Amnesty International’s campaign against the criminalisation of prostitution working out in Ireland, and Northern Ireland?

    Isn’t that also part of My Body My Rights?

  • Acrobat_747

    I support woman’s rights, and that includes the woman in the womb.

  • Zeno

    Is there pictures and cartoons?

  • Ulick

    That’s not what Amnesty are campaigning for. Their campaign is much wider and includes abortion on demand, including late-term and the horrific “partial-birth” abortions which Planned Parenthood in the US used to harvest and sell body parts.
    Amnesty today is unrecognisable from the organisation of which I was once a member.
    “Protect the Human”? As if…

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    The Graham Linehan video featuring an old church yard is completely at odds with modern Ireland and is a misrepresentation as to why abortion, for whatever reason, isn’t available in Ireland. It’s not related to church teaching but to a misgiving among people that there is such a right as to end the life of another merely because one life is in the womb of another. How can Amnesty back such a campaign given that it is condemning to death the lives of those unborn? Amnesty’s focus should be on supporting the women who have unwanted pregnancies bear their children and, then, if necessary, put them up for adoption.

  • OpenGoal

    Any thoughts on the Linehans tragic story? Was that not an avoidable thing to have gone through?

  • OpenGoal

    Well it can take about 15 weeks to work out whether there is indeed a woman in the womb, so fair game before then right?

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    Of course I have sympathy for them but hard cases make bad law. You can’t change the law because of one tragic situation and then allow abortion on demand which is what the aim of ‘Repeal the 8th’ is. If you repeal the 8th amendment, there is no law preventing abortion in Ireland.

  • eireanne

    yes of course – have a look and let us all know what you think!

  • 23×7

    Rubbish. Yet another man telling women what they should do with their bodies. Women are not baby making machines.

  • 23×7

    Again more nonsence. This case is not a one off situation?

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    As tragic as the Linehan situation was, it’s not a grounds for changing the law to allow tragedy on a far greater scale, abortion on demand.