Abortion is already here, says Dr Boylan
Abortion is "already here" but needs to be made safe, the chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Dr Peter Boylan, has said.
Launching the Together For Yes national campaign in Athlone yesterday, Dr Boylan described the Eighth Amendment as "a failed experiment".
"The vote on May 25 is not a Yes or No vote to introduce abortion because it is already here in Ireland. In the last year alone, 2,000 women imported illegal abortion pills from online providers," he said.
"These pills are very safe when used under medical supervision. However, if taken in the wrong dosage or at the wrong time they can cause serious, potentially fatal problems such as uterine rupture and haemorrhage.
"We cannot ignore today's reality and risk waking up one morning to the news that a woman has bled to death, alone in her bathroom."
Dr Boylan said that as long as the Eighth Amendment was in place, doctors "can do nothing about fatal foetal anomalies, pregnant rape victims, or some cancer patients".
Meanwhile, well-known actors including Saoirse Ronan, Cillian Murphy and Liam Cunningham have thrown their support behind the Together For Yes campaign.
The actors have taken part in a video released last night which lists a variety of ways women in Ireland are affected by the Eighth Amendment.
It calls for this to change "for women's safety, for a just society, for a fairer Ireland".
The script states that "a Yes vote is a vote for compassion", with various actors saying it will help your sister, your daughter, your mates, your niece, your girlfriend, yourself, your mother or your wife.
It concludes with 'Sherlock' star Andrew Scott saying: "This is a once-in-a lifetime vote", and Saoirse asking viewers to "please vote Yes".
Other participants include Pauline McLynn, Sinead Cusack, Tom Vaughan Lawlor, Victoria Smurfit and James Nesbitt.