Taoiseach should hold a ref­er­en­dum on 8th amend­ment

The Sligo Champion - - OPINION -

Dear Editor, Madam Editor, I am pleased to note that Taoiseach Leo Varad­kar was will­ing to spend at least a cou­ple of hours dis­cussing the mat­ter of re­pro­duc­tive health­care and ac­cess to abor­tion fa­cil­i­ties with Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau. For far too long Ir­ish politi­cians have ig­nored this is­sue on the ba­sis that the mat­ter is sup­pos­edly of no in­ter­est to their con­stituents. The con­sis­tent ev­i­dence of re­peated opin­ion polls shows this is not the case. The Eighth Amend­ment to the Con­sti­tu­tion de­nies every woman and girl in Ire­land the right to de­cide how she is treated dur­ing pregnancy. And worse it crim­i­nalises those who make de­ci­sions out­side this re­stric­tive con­sti­tu­tional frame­work. The in­ac­tion by Ir­ish politi­cians re­gard­ing the re­pro­duc­tive rights of women - which in ad­vanced western democ­ra­cies like Canada are rightly un­der­stood to be fun­da­men­tal hu­man rights - can­not be ac­cepted any longer. It is there­fore to be hoped that the Taoiseach will re­turn from his trip com­mit­ted to hold­ing a ref­er­en­dum on re­mov­ing the Eighth Amend­ment from the Con­sti­tu­tion as soon as pos­si­ble.

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