Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Minister reveals how many Laois women travelled to United Kingdom for an abortion

Number of Kildare women who travelled to UK for abortion revealed in Minister's Dail speech Minister Simon Harris speaking during Wednesday's Dail debate on the Eighth Amendment
Ellis Copeland | 20 January, 2018, 05:03

"When they arrive at that hard decision, the country we live in, the country we hope has come a long way from the dark events that continue to haunt this Chamber, tells them to get their care elsewhere", the Minister told the Dail.

Minister Harris listed off the number of women from each county in Ireland who travelled to the United Kingdom in 2016 for an abortion, and noted that an estimated 170,000 Irish women have travelled to other countries for abortions since 1980.

During a Dail debate on the recommendation to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which gives the mother and unborn child equal right to life, Mr Martin said he wanted to see it removed.

Last December, a report by a specially convened Oireachtas committee found that Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution, known as the Eighth Amendment and passed in 1983, was not fit for objective and should be repealed.

Minister Harris says the figures represent real women at a crisis point in their lives.

Mr Martin said he took his decision so women who get a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality can terminate their pregnancies at home.

He said he hoped.as a country, "we can no longer tolerate a law which denies care and understanding to women who are our friends, our sisters, our mothers, our daughters, our wives".

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"Because it requires that pregnant women and doctors are faced with criminal sanctions".

She accused the church and state of historical collusion on issues like contraception and abortion. As things stand they are often left without help, advice or support at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives.

The State and its "shameful" record on subjugating women was also on trial yesterday.

Hildegarde Naughton considers herself pro-life, but said the Oireachtas Committee on the 8th amendment made her realise something needs to be done.

"The other duty we have is to acknowledge the humanity of a tiny human being and to ensure that our laws do something to protect him or her from harm or attack".

Over half of the women who travelled were married, in a civil partnership, or in a relationship.

"We also have to leave our baby in a coffin in our auto, covered by a blanket or in the boot, while we cross the Irish Sea".

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