Labour Women
30 November 2016

Labour Women has welcomed the government’s response to the UN Human Rights Committee on the case of Amanda Mellet, describing it as a ‘significant step in acknowledging the shameful treatment of Amanda and thousands of other women in this country’.

Chair of Labour Women Sinead Ahern commented: ‘The fact that the government is responding to the UN’s findings of inhuman and degrading treatment in the case of Amanda Mellet in such a way is a breakthrough in what has been a long and tedious road for Amanda and her family. This is indeed quite a significant move and I would like to acknowledge the role that Deputy Alan Kelly has played in bringing this to fruition.

‘I am heartened that Amanda’s case has been vindicated by the government and that she is to receive reparations for what she endured by being forced to travel for an abortion. This is also a significant movement for so many other women who have endured similar degrading treatment as a result of the strict prohibition on abortion services that currently exists here in Ireland.

‘However, despite this there is nothing currently in place to prevent this from happening again to other women, which it inevitably will unless our laws on abortion are changed, and to do this we need to repeal the Eighth Amendment of our constitution.

‘We have learned time and time again how thousands of women have been mistreated directly resulting from this amendment to our constitution. So while I welcome the response that the government has taken in the case of Amanda Mellet, it is imperative that a referendum is called on this as soon as possible.

‘The stance of the Labour Party is clear, the Eighth Amendment must be repealed and as the only party that campaigned against its inclusion in 1983 we won’t stop until it’s gone and the women of this nation are treated with the decency and respect they deserve.’

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