Ireland’s Yes vote is a triumph of compassion over coercion

26th May 2018
Positive change is on its way - Repeal the 8th

IPPF is overjoyed at the Irish people’s decision to remove the harmful ‘8th Amendment’ from Ireland’s constitution with today’s referendum result.

IPPF’s Director General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, said: “We wholeheartedly welcome this vote for change, which makes it possible for the Irish Parliament to legalise abortion care on a woman’s own indication in the first trimester of pregnancy, in line with the many other countries around the world which ensure women can access safe and legal abortion care when they need it.”

Caroline Hickson, IPPF’s European Network Regional Director, said: “As an Irishwoman I know the 8th Amendment has harmed countless women physically, emotionally and psychologically for more than 30 years. The vote to remove it paves the way for a more compassionate and caring environment for women in Ireland. They will no longer be forced to access abortion outside the state or resort to unsafe and unregulated use of abortion pills obtained online and outside the law. Instead, women and girls who experience crisis pregnancies will be able to make personal, private decisions about their health care with the support of their doctors and loved ones. They will be able to receive proper care, in their country, when they are at their most vulnerable.”

Dr Alvaro Bermejo added: “Ireland’s decision sends a signal around Europe and the world that people’s care and compassion can triumph over absolutism and coercion. We hope that it also gives courage to women and all those who support their fight against reproductive coercion in so many other places, and to all those countries where the Global Gag Rule is having devastating impact on access to sexual and reproductive health care. For all women everywhere, it’s time to end forced full pregnancy and make abortion care safe, legal and accessible. Today Ireland has shown us that positive change is possible.”