Monday 22 October 2018

Abortion a 'right' for those with intellectual disability

Mr Connolly said that the Eighth Amendment imposes a restriction on bodily autonomy. Stock photo: Tom Honan/PA Wire
Mr Connolly said that the Eighth Amendment imposes a restriction on bodily autonomy. Stock photo: Tom Honan/PA Wire

Shona Murray

Access to abortion services is a "key right" for people with intellectual disabilities, according to the National Association for People with an Intellectual Disability.

Inclusion Ireland is taking an official position in support of a repeal of the Eighth Amendment, and will campaign thus.

"One of the key rights we've been campaigning for when it comes to rights for women with intellectual disabilities, is whether or not to have children and how to space them", said the group's CEO, Paddy Connolly.

Mr Connolly said that the Eighth Amendment imposes a restriction on bodily autonomy.

He described it as a "human rights abuse", because it prevents women from making choices about reproduction.

This impacts women with intellectual disability more profoundly than other women as their ability to travel to the UK for abortion is limited.

They are more frequently women of few means; economically, and also in terms of capacity.

"They are often women living in poverty", said Mr Connolly.

He explained that they often need unfettered access to their GP for medical supports, so the journey and the situation far more complex.

Irish Independent

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