The Workers’ Party this morning (Monday) launched their referendum campaign outside Dáil Éireann. To launch the campaign, the Party displayed their 1983 posters against the 8th amendment, alongside newly-launched ‘Yes’ posters for the 2018 referendum.
Speaking at the launch this morning, Workers’ Party Cllr. Éilis Ryan said:
“The Workers’ Party was the only Dáil party to actively oppose the 8th Amendment in 1983, and we are campaigning for its removal from the constitution in 2018. The Amendment was wrong then, and it’s wrong now.
“In 1983, working class women experiencing crisis pregnancies still found themselves consigned to institutions such as the Sean MacDermott Street Magdalene laundry. In 2018, they may find themselves forced to a moneylender to fund the cost of travel to obtain a termination. Women’s reproductive health, and their right to make choices, has always been a class issue.”
The Workers’ Party said its campaign will focus on three issues – the fact that abortion is already a reality in Ireland, the disproportionate impact of the 8th amendment on working class and low-income women, and the ongoing need to separate church and state in Ireland.
Cllr. Éilis Ryan continued:
“The 8th Amendment impacts on all women, but is felt hardest by working class and low-income women. The minimum cost of travelling to England for a termination is €1000 in the earlier stages of pregnancy. And the financial burden is often increased by loss of income – or even employment – and the need to fund childcare or other family care while a woman is away.
“Repealing the 8th Amendment will allow all women, regardless of income, to make choices regarding their own bodies, and to exercise those choices at home.”
Cllr. Ryan concluded:
“The Workers’ Party – unique in mandating its TDs and members to actively campaign against the 8th amendment in 1983 – argued that it was wrong to inscribe the beliefs of one religion into our constitution.
“On May 25th, we have the opportunity to take a step towards becoming a truly secular republic, by removing the 8th from the constitution once and for all.”