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Abortion Referendum In Ireland

Under Irish Law, a woman who seeks an abortion after rape can face a longer prison sentence than her rapist.

I find this unfair because this is depriving a woman of her basic human rights. A woman should be in control of her body and she should have the right to do what she pleases to her body. Currently, it is illegal in Ireland to have an abortion unless it occurs as a result of a medical intervention performed to save the life of the mother.

Time magazine has described the Irish Abortion laws as treating women like criminals. This is all apart of the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution. According to article 40.3.3,

The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.

This subsection shall not limit freedom to travel between the State and another state.

This subsection shall not limit freedom to obtain or make available, in the State, subject to such conditions as may be laid down by law, information relating to services lawfully available in another state.

The referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment takes place in May or June of 2018, the final date is yet to be decided by the Irish government.

In 1992, the Attorney General sought to prevent a thirteen-year-old who was a victim of rape from obtaining an abortion in England. This was granted unfortunately by the High Court of Ireland. The appeal was reversed only by the Supreme Court on the grounds that the young girl was suicidal. If it wasn’t for the discovery of the young girl’s poor mental health, the girl would have been forced to keep the baby. Who knows what could have happened?

This unfortunately isn’t the only case like this in Ireland. Similarly, in  1997, another 13-year-old was raped and became pregnant and suicidal. The family traveled to Britain so she could get an abortion. Another court case ensued about whether or not the girl could travel to Britain for the abortion.

From reading these stories, I feel that the amendment should be altered or completely abolished. It is an issue to people’s health and deprives us of our human right as women.

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