There have been 600 submissions made to the Citizens’ Assembly by the public on the issue of the Eighth Amendment.
The assembly was set up in October to discuss several components of the Constitution.
Its first task is to examine the Eighth Amendment, which amended Article 40 of the Constitution in 1983, acknowledging “the right to life of the unborn, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother”.
Apart from the 99 individuals examining the amendment, the public was invited to make submissions.
“The formal call for submissions was opened on October 22 and, to date, the Assembly has received almost 600 submissions, the vast majority of which have been received online through submissions page on www.citizensassembly.ie” a spokesperson for the assembly said yesterday. “The secretariat is currently in the process of reading these submissions and it is the intention of the secretariat to publish them on a rolling basis.”
However, in the case of personal testimonies, the secretariat will respect requests to withhold information.
Orla O’Connor, director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI), said the large number of submissions indicated the importance of the issue: “We believe that women’s voices and experiences of abortion are central to the discussions of the assembly and this is why we are encouraging our members, groups, and individuals to make their own submissions highlighting the concerns of women and stating their support for a referendum.”
The closing date for submissions is December 16. The assembly convenes tomorrow for its first meeting.
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