Amnesty launch ‘It’s Time To Talk’ campaign; 'GAA Athletes for a NO vote' set to unveil plans

Badges on the jacket of Amnesty International Ireland Executive Director Colm O'Gorman during the launch Amnesty's 'It's Time To Talk' campaign. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Amnesty International have today highlighted what they described as “the multiple layers of suffering inflicted on women and girls facing crisis pregnancies as a result of being exiled to other countries”.

At a press conference in Buswells Hotel in Dublin today, the charity launched their ‘It’s Time To Talk’ campaign for a Yes vote in the forthcoming abortion referendum.

They said women having to travel abroad to access abortion services “compounds and exacerbates the harm and distress suffered by women and girls under the Eighth Amendment”.

The launch also featured the first in a series of issue papers on the human rights impacts on women and girls of forcing them to leave the country for abortion services.

Speaking at the event, Amy Walsh of Terminations for Medical Reasons, told her own story of being forced to travel to Liverpool after receiving the devastating news that the baby she was carrying had developed a fatal foetal abnormality called triploidy.

Ms Walsh said: “We desperately wanted our daughter, but the doctors explained to us that there was no possibility she would survive.

There’s no way to express the agony this caused us.

Also speaking at the press conference was Dr Caitriona Henchion, Medical Director of the Irish Family Planning Association.

Dr Henchion said: “The denial of care in Ireland puts an extra burden on women at a vulnerable time.

They are abandoned by the Irish healthcare system and this causes additional distress, anxiety, and risks to their health.

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, called on voters not to miss the opportunity to vote on May 25.

Mr O’Gorman said: “Irish people want to see compassionate care provided to women and girls who need it.

The question we need to ask ourselves is, if a women or girl is pregnant, and feels she cannot continue with that pregnancy, who decides what happens next?

“It’s time to care for women at home, and to respect their right to make decisions that are right for them and their families.”

Meanwhile, GAA stars including Tyrone manager Micky Harte, Joe Sheridan (Meath), Patrick Gallagher (Antrim), Aoife Cassidy (Derry, All Ireland Camogie winning Captain) and AnneMarie McDonagh (Galway Ladies Football) will launch 'GAA Athletes for a NO vote' in Dublin tomorrow.

Their launch begins at 2pm in Ballyfermot Sports and Fitness Centre where members of the campaign will conduct a skills training session for local children followed by a press conference.

- Digital Desk

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