Costello to host Dublin Central Repeal Meeting

9 May 2018

Statement by Joe Costello

Speaking in advance of a public meeting in Dalymount tonight on Repeal the 8th Joe Costello, Labour Party Spokesperson on Urban Regeneration, said that after 35 years it was high time that the 8th Amendment was removed from the Constitution.

"The 8th Amendment is a chilling constitutional provision for any woman who is pregnant or contemplating pregnancy. That is a large segment of the female population of childbearing age. The amendment is worded in such a manner as to endanger a woman’s life and threaten her health should severe complications arise during the pregnancy. Instead of protecting her right to life and her right to health as the Constitution is intended to do for all citizens, bizarrely the Constitution is an obstacle to those rights being vindicated and accessed by thousands of Irish women each year.

"I opposed the 8th Amendment in 1983 on the basis of its discriminatory character and denial of women’s rights. As a founder member of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties in 1976 I had campaigned with people like Mary Robinson and Kader Asmal against the introduction of the 8th in 1983 in what was a very bitter campaign.

"After 35 years and many vicissitudes the 8th remains in situ. Women must travel abroad surreptitiously to have abortions; they can covertly obtain the abortion pill online but must use it without medical supervision because it is illegal. Some 5,000 women are forced into one or other of these methods every year.

"Irish women cannot have an abortion in their own country except in the most restrictive of circumstances.

"Out of sight and out of mind, we are still hypocritically providing a so-called Irish solution to an Irish problem and deliberately avoiding the real problem.

"Until the 8th  Amendment is removed from the Constitution Irish women’s right to health cannot be positively protected. Legislative and regulatory provisions cannot be put in place by the Oireachtas; and women will remain second class citizens on the basis of their gender.

"A ‘Yes’ vote on the 25th May is essential to ensure that the appalling vista of another generation of young Irish women being denied constitutional protection is ended once and for all.

Media Note:

Other main speakers at the meeting include Pauline McLynn, actress and author, Senator Ivana Bacik and Dr Tiernan Murray, Doctors for  Choice.  

Meeting will start at 8pm. in the function room,  Dalymount Park.   Entrance from North Circular Road.

Photocall in advance of meeting 7.45