Wednesday 18 October 2017

'The 8th amendment is inexcusable' - Irish stars call for abortion reform

Cork actor Cillian Murphy
Cork actor Cillian Murphy

David Kearns

A group of leading figures in Irish arts and music have called for the repeal of the 8th amendment, saying it prevents any “serious reform of Ireland’s anti-abortion laws”.

Cillian Murphy, Marian Keyes, Christy Moore, Colm Tóibín and Neil Jordan are among more than 240 artists who have joined the campaign.

Authors including Anne Enright, Edna O’Brien and John Banville alongside filmmakers such as Jim Sheridan and John Boorman have also joined the call to repeal the eighth amendment.

The amendment, introduced in 1983, acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and grants a foetus the same constitutional rights as every other Irish citizen.

Speaking at the social media launch of the ‘Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment’, Alice Maher said: “We are calling on our politicians to do their job and to legislate for the people who elected them and for the people who will go out to vote at the next election and to be very clear and make no mistake about it, we will be voting for those who have the courage to right this wrong.”

The artists involved say they hope their campaign will become broader.

Christy Moore has also signed the campaign to repeal of the 8th amendment
Christy Moore has also signed the campaign to repeal of the 8th amendment

In a statement they said: “We hope that other sectors of Irish society will also call for the repeal of this detrimental Amendment.

“The eighth amendment of the constitution of Ireland, article 40.3.3 inserted in 1983, has prevented our doctors and our legislators from providing proper care to women in Ireland.

Over 240 of our fellow artists have already attached their names to our statement calling for the repeal of the 8th Amendment. Join them now!

Posted by Artists' Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment on Tuesday, 15 September 2015

“The resulting physical and emotional trauma inflicted on women is inexcusable and an ongoing shame for Irish citizens.

“It is a key source of Ireland’s failure to reach international human rights standards and of the state’s failure to meet its obligations to vindicate women’s human rights.”

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