This is our chance to remove the 8th Amendment – Cork Together for Yes launch

Cork launch

Together for Yes, the national civil society campaign to remove the 8th Amendment, has this evening welcomed the announcement that May 25th is the official date for the referendum on the 8th Amendment.

Speaking ahead of the launch of ‘Together for Yes Cork’ this evening, Ailbhe Smyth, Co-Director of Together for Yes said, “May 25th is our chance to repeal the harmful 8th amendment once and for all. It is the day when we can stand up as a nation and say we want women to be able to make personal, private decisions about their pregnancies with the support of their doctors and families at home. It is the day when we say we want to create a compassionate, supportive environment for women in Ireland who need to access abortion services. It is the day when we decide we will care for and protect women who are vulnerable – because sometimes a private matter deserves public support. 

“Together For Yes will spend the next eight weeks knocking on doors across the country and taking our message to every street corner, community, home and business where we intend to highlight the harm the 8th Amendment is causing. It forces women to travel to access healthcare services that they should be accessing at home. And it makes women resort to the unregulated and clandestine use of abortion pills alone and without proper medical supervision. This has a hugely adverse effect on women’s health. Together for Yes is campaigning for a yes vote so that we can change our laws,  support women in these difficult situations, and ensure doctors can provide care and support in a compassionate, supportive environment here in Ireland.”

Smyth was speaking as she prepared to launch Together For Yes Cork this evening in the Metropole Hotel in Cork City, where local supporters and campaigners are set to gather. Speakers include Liam Herrick, Director of Irish Council of Civil Liberties; Mary Favier, GP and Kathy D’Arcy, spokesperson for Together for Yes Cork.

Liam Herrick, Director of Irish Council of Civil Liberties, and one of the member organisations supporting Together for Yes said: “ICCL opposed the 8th Amendment in 1983, along with many lawyers and the Attorney General of the time, because we believed the Amendment would bring legal uncertainty and cause harm to women.”

“Over the years we have been proven right in those fears. We have seen how the 8th Amendment has failed to provide clarity for the medical profession. We have also seen how the Amendment has caused a wide range of human rights violations, as has been consistently found by international human rights bodies.”

Mary Favier, GP in Cork said: “As doctors we want to support our patients in every way we can. But currently the 8th Amendment ties our hands. It is harmful to women who cannot access the care and support they need. And it is harmful to us as doctors because we cannot prioritise the health of our patients. We are campaigning together for a yes vote because we believe people want to see a more compassionate Ireland that respects and protects a woman at a time of greatest need.”

Kathy D’Arcy, spokesperson for Together for Yes Cork said: “In 2016, 241 Cork women travelled overseas to access abortion care that they were denied here because of the 8th Amendment. I hear from more and more people every day here who are realising that this should never have been an acceptable way to treat women in vulnerable situations.  The whole county of Cork has rowed in behind this Yes campaign with open-hearted energy and vigour: groups have become active in Cobh, Middleton, Mallow, Fermoy, Macroom, Clonakilty and Schull, among others. Over the coming weeks we will be knocking on doors all across the county and having conversations with our neighbours, friends and families. Cork is Together for Yes.”

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