'I was pregnant. I didn't want to be': Women tell personal stories to Citizens' Assembly

Women who have been directly affected by abortion have been sharing their experiences this afternoon, at the Citizens' Assembly.

The six women shared their personal stories anonymously with members of the Assembly when it met today. A further session will take place tomorrow.

Today's meeting was the fourth in a series of sessions looking at the future of the Eighth Amendment. The session has closed for the day.

One woman said: "I just didn’t want to be pregnant. At all…It's one of the hardest phonecalls I ever had to make..I had to ring my sister and say 'I'm pregnant. What do I do?'"

Another said: "It was just strange knowing that I was pregnant and I didn’t want to be pregnant."

Chair of the Assembly, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy has asked both sides of the debate to listen to the women's stories and show respect to them and their experiences.

Tomorrow it will hear from 17 advocacy and representative groups on the topic.

The assembly is due to make a recommendation to the Oireachtas in the coming months on whether or not a referendum should be called on changing Ireland's abortion laws.

Tomorrow's session will hear from advocay groups and representative organisations including Doctors for Life Ireland, Doctors For Choice, Youth Defence, Women Hurt, the Irish Family Planning Assocaition and the Iona Institute. A full list of groups can be found here (this is also the link to the Assembly channel showing live proceedings).

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