The Citizens Have Spoken

By Patrick Brogan

The Citizens’ Assembly has recommended widespread liberalisation of Irish abortion laws. This will come as some vindication to the many women, and men, that campaigned under the Repeal the 8th banner. However, other advocacy groups have raised their concerns.

At the political level, Eamon Ryan, the Green Party leader, and Social Democrats Catherine Murphy and Roisin Shortall were happy with the news with Ryan pointing out; “Politicians can no longer bury their heads in the sand on the issue of the Eighth Amendment. They must now take responsibility, and legislate for a referendum to repeal the Eighth, and allow access to terminations in a wide range of circumstances, as per the Assembly’s recommendations.”

On the other side of the debate, Renua leader John Leahy said he was disappointed with the decision the assembly came to, but praised their hard work. Should such parties not be accepting the democratic decision? This contradicts their “self-reliance, less government” stance on their website.

For too long women and children have been abused and treated as second-class citizens by a patriarchal and conservative Catholic state. The change long overdue has begun.

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