The Pro Life Campaign has said that calls for “partial” or “full” repeal of the 8th Amendment would have the same effect in that both options would strip unborn babies of all meaningful protections under the law.
The PLC was responding to calls earlier today by the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) for a referendum offering “full repeal” of the 8th Amendment.
Press conferences by both groups were held as the second public meeting of Eighth Amendment Committee’s discussions on abortion took place in the Oireachtas.
Today the 22-person Eighth Amendment Committee heard from constitutional experts about the potential implications of repealing, replacing or amending the Eighth Amendment
Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro Life Campaign suggsted that despite talk about whether any referendum proposal would have a ‘restrictive’ wording or allow abortion in wide-ranging circumstances the reality was "that there is no such thing as restrictive abortion".
She continued: "Once it is conceded that unborn babies are unworthy of legal protection in some situations, it is in effect saying that no unborn babies have any intrinsic value.
“The experience from other countries proves this over and over again. So the ARC calling for full repeal is a moot point. Any form of repeal would deliver the same result – an abortion regime in Ireland, where it would become impossible to have any meaningful protections for unborn babies.
“It is popular with some to attack the 8th Amendment at every turn and overlook all the good it has done for this country. It is extremist behaviour for the ARC to claim that the 8th Amendment is “an instrument of violence” when in reality it is the complete opposite. There are thousands of people alive today in Ireland thanks to the 8th Amendment. That’s something we should celebrate and cherish not denigrate.”
Earlier today speakers at the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) press conference highlighted the traumatic effects of the Eighth Amendment ahead of the 6th annual March for Choice which takes place in Dublin this Saturday, 30th of September.
Speaking at Buswells Hotel this afternoon ARC spokesperson Linda Kavanagh suggested that Ireland had an instrument of violence against women written into its constitution.
"The Eighth Amendment has caused untold misery and damage, and it’s time we removed it once and for all. We have come such a long way in the five years since the Abortion Rights Campaign was founded.
"However, we will reserve judgement on the announcement of a stand-alone referendum on the Eighth Amendment until we know the question that will be put to the people of Ireland. We have all waited long enough to finally be allowed to make decisions about our own bodies, it’s vital that the government get this right.”
She went on: “30,000-plus people are about to take to the streets to demand broad access to abortion. This is a show of strength that will demonstrate to the government we are not prepared to support anything less than full repeal of the Eighth Amendment and implementation of the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly.
"The wording of the referendum must reflect the will of the people who assemble on Saturday. We want meaningful access to abortion and it is time we got it.”