Monday 20 November 2017

Citizens' Assembly votes overwhelmingly for women to have the right to abortion in Ireland

Chairperson Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, at the Citizens Assembly Picture: Fergal Phillips
Chairperson Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, at the Citizens Assembly Picture: Fergal Phillips

Laura Lynott

THE Citizens' Assembly voted overwhelmingly for women to have the right to abortion in Ireland for the first time in a historic day.

89pc said of the Assembly voted in favour of Irish women being given the right to access abortion for a foetal abnormality likely to result in the death before or shortly after birth, of a child.

89pc voted for the right to have abortion as the result of rape, 78pc voted yes to abortion when there is a risk to a woman's health.

78pc stated that they wanted women to have the right to abortion when there is a risk to mental health, 79pc voted for the right to termination when physical health is at risk.

But one of the most startling figures showed 72pc want women to have a right to abortion for socioeconomic reasons.

50pc said termination could take place up to 22 weeks gestation, which falls short of only two weeks at the latest stage UK abortion can be carried out.

64pc said yes to abortion with no restrictions - meaning that way over half want women to have full access to abortion rights as our neighbours in the UK already do.

Assembly Chair Justice Mary Laffoy thanked the members of the Assembly for their determination and resolve.

The vote now paves the way for a referendum and will see campaigners push for a definitive change in the law to give Irish women the full legal right to abortion.

The results in full:

64pc of the Members have recommended that the termination of pregnancy without restriction should be lawful. Of that group of Members:

48pc have recommended that the termination of pregnancy without restriction should be lawful up to 12 weeks gestation age only.

44pc have recommended that the termination of pregnancy without restriction should be lawful up to 22 weeks’ gestation age only.

8pc have recommended that the termination of pregnancy with no restriction to gestational age.

In addition, a majority of Assembly Members recommended by ballot the following reasons, for which termination of pregnancy should be lawful in Ireland:

Real and substantial physical risk to the life of the woman (99pc)

Real and substantial risk to the life of the woman by suicide (95pc)

Serious risk to the physical health of the woman (93pc)

Serious risk to the mental health of the woman (90pc)

Serious risk to the health of the woman (91pc)

Risk to the physical health of the woman (79pc)

Risk to the mental health of the woman (78pc)

Risk to the health of the woman (78pc)

Pregnancy as result of rape (89pc)

The unborn child has a foetal abnormality that is likely to result in death before or shortly after birth (89pc)

The unborn child has a significant foetal abnormality that is not likely to result in death before or shortly after birth (80pc)

Socio-economic reasons (72pc)

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