Govt must fast track legislation to provide safe, free and legal access to abortion

Senator Annie Hoey image
25 May 2022

Marking four years from the vote to repeal the eighth amendment, Labour Senator Annie Hoey has urged government to fast track the Safe Access Zone legislation to protect women accessing abortion services in Ireland.

Senator Hoey said:

“Four years ago today people came out in their droves to support and trust women. The overwhelming vote for change that day was only the start of the journey. Marking this historic day, I am calling on government to fast track the Safe Access Zone legislation to provide for safe, legal and free access to abortion for all who need it.

“Dignity and privacy are two things that every patient attending their GP or hospital has a right to expect. We have a long and sad history in this country of judging, penalising and shamming people for their reproductive choices. There are still reports of so-called ‘vigils’ being held outside of hospitals, and this intimidating behaviour has a huge impact on anyone attending the hospital – pregnant people, their partners and staff.

“The referendum campaign triggered a national conversation about the adverse effects of prohibiting abortion; we heard powerful testimonies from those whose lives were touched by tragedy because of draconian laws outlawing abortion. Following the repeal referendum, we must now ensure that our legislation provides effective protection for women’s reproductive healthcare rights.

“As it is, abortion is one of the few services that a patient already must worry about being provided for by their GP – only 10% of GPs nationally are providing at the moment. While we remember the historic vote, we know that there is more work to be done to ensure safe, free and legal access to abortion in Ireland.”

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