Labour Leader calls for Reform of Abortion Laws
Speaking today to open the AGM of the ‘START’ group (Southern Taskgroup on Abortion & Reproductive Topics), Labour leader Ivana Bacik TD called for change to be made to abortion laws to ensure that women’s real reproductive healthcare needs are met.
Deputy Bacik said:
“The lrish people voted overwhelmingly by referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment in 2018, yet many women still have serious difficulties in accessing reproductive healthcare in Ireland.
“The legislation enacted following the referendum has provided many women with positive access to terminations of pregnancy in their own counties and their own country. However, far too many are still travelling and too many continue to face unnecessary barriers in accessing basic reproductive healthcare.
“The Labour Party is concerned that in some towns and villages there are still no GP practices offering services under the Act; and that some regional hospitals with maternity units are also failing to deliver services. We know that there are 13 counties in which less than 10 GPs provide abortion care, and we are aware that many counties have no GPs providing services.
“We in Labour have made a submission to the review of the abortion legislation, calling for a number of policy changes and amendments to be made to the 2018 Act, through the review process, to include:
- Repeal of the mandatory three day waiting period under the Act.
- Immediate introduction of provision for safe access zones.
- Decriminalisation of abortion.
- Wider geographic coverage and retention of telemedicine abortion access “service.
We need to see the reform and amendment of the 2018 Act and of reproductive healthcare policies, to ensure that the needs of women who require improved access to abortion services are addressed; and that the barriers to access identified are removed. Only through this process can women’s right to access abortion services be truly vindicated.”