Sunday, 22nd April 2018
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We need to put the human rights of women and girls at the centre of our abortion laws – their right to health, well-being and autonomous decision-making. It’s time to Repeal the 8th.

Ireland’s abortion law violates the human rights of women and girls. The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution is the root cause of these violations. It must be repealed.

Whoever you are, wherever you live, all the decisions you make about your body should be yours. Sexual and reproductive rights are human rights. They guarantee that everyone should be able to make their own decisions about their bodies, get accurate information about their health care options, and access sexual and reproductive health services.

It is long past time for change. Amnesty Interntaional welcomes the government’s decision to schedule a referendum and finally give the people of Ireland an opportunity to repeal the Eighth Amendment in its entirety.

We need a framework for access to abortion which puts the the human rights of women and girls at the centre of our abortion laws – their right to health, well-being and autonomous decision-making. For too long, women and girls have been denied full control over their bodies, reproduction and lives. It’s time to repeal the Eighth.

We have a chance to make a real difference to women and girls in Ireland. Together, we can work to ensure that future generations of women and girls live in a society that respects, protects and fulfils their human rights.

Ireland’s abortion laws are among the most restrictive in the world. It is a criminal offence to have an abortion except when there is "a real and substantial risk” to the woman’s life. If a woman or girl needs an abortion, she must travel abroad to access this essential health care service. If she has an illegal abortion in Ireland, she risks 14 years in prison.

No woman should be denied the healthcare that is her right. Criminalising women for having abortions violates their human rights and endangers their lives.

Governments should make sure that sexual and reproductive health services, education and information are available and easy to access, including access to abortion in line with international human rights law.

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