With the ‘Strike for Repeal’ grabbing all of the headlines this week, it might come as a surprise that the government are essentially on the verge of decriminalising abortion this Tuesday. Yes that’s right THIS TUESDAY!
The Dáil will be meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss an amendment to The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013. Without boring you with the deets this act recognised that in cases where there was a threat to the life, due to suicide, of a pregnant woman, abortion may be used. Was grand when they signed it and people thought “Yay! If I’m going to kill myself the government will let me have an abortion.”
Though the act seemed to be somewhat sound, sadly it was not. Women who apply for the process have to jump through a million and one hoops before eventually being allowed access to abortion. The process has been deemed by all that have gone through it as a horrible ordeal. Noticeably rape and fatal foetal abnormalities were left out of the act and later rejected in a proposed amendment as they were deemed unconstitutional. The act introduced in 2013 was a step forward, but a very minuscule step for women’s rights to bodily autonomy.
All of this is for an article another day, but the main point is the proposed amendment being discussed in the Dáil tomorrow! Currently the act under article 22 titled, with no bias whatsoever, ‘The Destruction of Unborn Human Life’, abortion is criminalised in Ireland. Nothing new there. The penalty for it is a whopping fine and up to 14 years imprisonment. It’s frustrating to think that a woman forced into having a dangerous, shady abortion in Ireland can be put in prison and fined.
Tomorrow evening the proposed amendment will go before the Oireachtas. The amendment will change what the penalty is for having an abortion to “A person who is guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable to a fine of not more than €1.00.” The amendment essentially decriminalises abortion in Ireland by only charging those caught with a fine of €1.
While this is a momentous occasion it’s still not good enough. Whatever side of the Pro-Life/Choice argument you are on, this act along with the 8th Amendment are some of the worst laws the country has ever produced, putting the lives of it’s citizens in serious danger.
If you want to show your support for the Bill head on down to the Dáil tomorrow to this event:
Also if you can’t make it shoot your TD an email saying you support the amendment! It needs all the support it can get!!!!!
Also don’t forget the strike for repeal is this Wednesday, with the final recommendations from the citizens assembly being handed in soon the movement needs all the support it gets!