PBP TD Bríd Smith speaks at Abortion Rights Campaign press conference

The TD call people to mobilise for the March for Choice to send a loud and clear message that the 8th amendment must be repealed and not replaced

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith today appeared at the Abortion Rights Campaign press conference in the lead-up to the annual March for Choice, which takes place on Saturday in Dublin.

The TD for Dublin South Central said that she is hoping for the largest March for Choice of all time and thinks that everyone who believes that women’s bodies do not belong in the constitution should attend the march.

She said: “With the Taoiseach noting yesterday that the referendum on the 8th amendment will be held in May or June of next year everyone who wants to see the 8th amendment repealed has now a target set.

“However I would say that this time frame for a referendum on the 8th is unacceptable and must be earlier in the year when students are around so that everyone can have the chance to vote on this massive issue in Irish society. Every day we delay a referendum another 10 women a day are exiled to access abortion services.

“Everyone who wants repeal and for women’s bodies and reproductive choices to be taken out of the constitution need to march this Saturday and get involved in their local repeal groups for here on.

“I would urge everyone to bring their friends, families and everyone you know so that we can make this the biggest March for Choice ever and send a clear message to the Government that we want a referendum to repeal the 8th and not replace it with anything. The Dáil then need to legislate so that women can take control of their own health choices.”

Over the summer Deputy Smith outlined her own experience of abortion over 33 years ago and that it is long time for women to be denied control over their own reproductive health.

She said: “In this day and age for women not to have bodily autonomy and control over their reproductive health is outrageous. The 8thamendment is barbaric and belongs in the Dark Ages. It is high time that Ireland stepped out from the Dark Ages and repealed the 8thamendment.

“Only a woman knows if she wants to continue with a pregnancy or not and any decisions about what is a health matter should be between her and her doctor- not the Catholic Church and not politicians.”

The TD pointed out that the Citizens’ Assembly was set up by the government to make recommendations on the 8th amendment to the constitution. It came back with recommendations to massively liberalise access to abortion in Ireland.

Deputy Smith said: “The Citizens’ Assembly has recommended that Ireland liberalise our abortion laws substantially and it is now clear that the only way to achieve these recommendations is to repeal the 8th and not replace it in the constitution.”

Deputy Smith also pointed to the deep class issue that the 8th amendment presents in Ireland.

She said: “If you are poor in this country or a refugee or unable to afford to travel another jurisdiction to get an abortion you are condemned to taking an unwanted pregnancy to full term against your will. But for those who can afford it abortion is a reality for Irish women, but not in Ireland.

“As a society, we need to trust women and we need to Repeal the 8th”.

Ends

Contact- Bríd Smith TD- 087 909 0166

Nick Lee (Press Officer)- 087 615 6473

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