- 24 May 23
In light of the government's 'Abortion Review' of abortion legislation following the 5th anniversary of Repeal, organisations like The National Women's Council have found the country's access to abortion remains obstructed.
The National Women's Council has urged the public to write to their local politicians demanding action for those denied access to abortions.
Despite the repeal of the 8th Amendment over five years ago, The National Women's Council explains, some of the current laws in place present barriers to abortion. Some institutions even fail to be in compliance with the laws that are meant to facilitate access, further undermining reproductive healthcare.
Included in their complaints, The National Women's Council outlined that the "criminalisation of abortion care after 12 weeks," "mandatory 3 day waiting period," and "inconsistent provision of abortion services nationwide" were just some of the obstacles still in place.
There are still barriers to access including
👉Criminalisation of abortion care after 12 weeks
👉Mandatory 3 day waiting period
👉Inconsistent provision of abortion services nationwide – 8 of 19 maternity hospitals are still not providing abortion care in line with the law
— Womenscouncilireland (@NWCI) May 24, 2023
The problems haven't gone unnoticed.
For the repeal's fifth anniversary, the government had a third party conduct an abortion review of current legislation to see what is and isn't working.
In addition to inconsistent coverage of abortion access in media, the review found abortion services "untenable" beyond uneven geographic coverage across Ireland.
Due to the lack of coverage, the already too-few healthcare workers who are administering services are at risk of burnout. The problem, however, continues to compound.
There remains no consequence for individuals in the healthcare field who "abuse their right to conscientiously object by actively obstructing or delaying a woman's access to care by providing misleading information."
It provides a bleak perspective to the already obstructed process.
— Women's Collective Ireland (@WCI_irl) May 23, 2023
Amid growing dissent about the state of abortion access in Ireland, a Bill has been brought forth by Bríd Smith, the People Before Profit TD, which would propose amendments to the current legislation. However, it appears that immediate rectification of the issue remains out of reach. Any changes to the law, whether they be within compliance with the government's review's suggestions or not, cannot be made until next year.
Until the law is changed, issues like the three-day waiting period, which inhibits access to abortion near the cut-off date, and the criminalisation of medical professionals who administer abortions outside of the law will persist.
Protesting the current situation, People Before Profit will be holding a rally for the pro-choice Bill tomorrow, May 25th at 6PM outside of the Dáil.
In the interim, many women continue to and will continue to travel outside of the country for abortion services.
Read the government's independent review of the Operation of the Health Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018, here.
May 25th is 5 years since #Repealthe8th but there are still far too many restrictions on abortion access and our right to choose! To support the #ProChoiceBill ahead of it being debated in the Dáil on May 25th, please sign here: https://t.co/99MtlGgJzY https://t.co/cQj8rlyNKx… pic.twitter.com/IVAgYYzpYv
— PBP Dublin South-West (@PBPtallaght) May 23, 2023