SENATOR BACIK WELCOMES RECOGNITION OF WRONG SUFFERED BY AMANDA MELLET
Senator Ivana Bacik has welcomed the Government’s response to the UN Human Rights Committee on the case of Amanda Mellet, describing it as a significant acknowledgement of the concerns raised by the UNHCR, and a crucial step towards a change in Ireland’s abortion regime.
Senator Bacik said:
“The announcement that the Government will be providing compensation to Amanda Mellet represents a significant move and I would like to acknowledge the role that Labour Spokesperson on Health, Alan Kelly TD, has played in bringing this to fruition.
“The UN Human Rights Committee’s ruling in June of this year constituted an important acknowledgement that the highly restrictive Irish law on abortion violates the human rights of women. The Government’s acceptance of the ruling through the announcement of the compensation award, and Minister Harris’s sincerity in apologising to Ms Mellet, are both welcome.
“But we need now to see official recognition that thousands of other women are being denied their basic human rights through being denied access to legal abortion in Ireland, due to the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. The UNHCR ruling in favour of Ms Mellet made clear the need for us to hold a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.
“I am encouraging all interested members of the public to make submissions to the Citizens’ Assembly before the deadline of 16th December, and to use those submissions to call for a referendum to repeal the Amendment, to enable the Oireachtas to legislate to provide for access to legal abortion.
“The Labour Party has consistently called for repeal of the Eighth Amendment – that referendum is now long overdue.”