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Abortion will be won 60-40, says minister

Abortion will be won 60-40, says minister

16/04/2018 - 12:10:00Back to 8th Amendment Ireland Home

The referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment will be won 60% to 40%, Minister Finian McGrath.

Speaking at an Inclusion Ireland event this morning, the Disabilities Minister said he is now "fairly confident" the abortion referendum will pass, but said there is no room for complacency.

Mr McGrath said: "I believe it will be 60 - 40. I know from my own constituency Dublin Bay North, that would be the kind of view that I am getting.

"But can we be complacent? Absolutely no, we cannot be complacent it will be a tough debate, it will be a long campaign over the next couple of weeks.

"But in fairness I think we have learned fr om the previous campaigns, it's more about facts and information now than spin."

However, he criticised those who have placed referendum posters close to schools.

"The one view that I am getting lately is from younger families about some of the posters up outside schools.

People are very upset, particularly parents of five and six-year-olds because they are being drawn into this debate, this debate is an adult debate.

Inclusion Ireland, the national association for people with an intellectual disability, this morning joined forces with the Together For Yes campaign to highlight the need for abortion care for women with disabilities.

The disability rights activists say the Eighth Amendment is about more than abortion for the women they represent.

They say that the Eighth amendment creates additional barriers to care, including inaccessible travel options for those who may need abortion servic es.

Disability rights campaigner Suzy Byrne says some disabled women are told not to get pregnant.

Ms Byrne said: "The 8th Amendment is about an awful lot more than terminating a pregnancy when it comes to people with disabilities.

"People are told 'don't get pregnant, because there is nothing we can do to help you'. And then contraception may not work in certain circumstances depending on your condition.

"You may not be able to take medication, because it may affect other medication that you have."

Paddy Connolly, CEO of Inclusion Ireland, said: “The 8th Amendment creates inequalities and for people with a disability it can further impede their sexual health and reproductive rights. Impediments such as inaccessible information, difficulty in travel, poverty, difficulty accessing medical treatment, including maternity services and access to contraception, place greater barriers in front of women with a disability exercising their reproductive rights.

People with disabilities need access to sexual and reproductive health, just like everyone else.

"The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Ireland recently ratified, affirms that right.

“To date, the voice of persons with disabilities has been largely absent from the public conversation on reproductive rights and people with intellectual disabilities need accessible information to engage in the debate.

"Inclusion Ireland invites all those who campaigned for ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to join the campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment.”

Mr McGrath said: “I believe in the equality of women in every area of Irish life - hence my support for the repeal campaign.

"Disabled people should always be free to make decisions about their personal and private life.

"This includes mobility issues in relation to travel and access to family planning services. All barriers to equality should be removed.”

KEYWORDS: abortion, referendum, 8th Amendment By Elaine Loughlin
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Source: Google News

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