The group is made up of a coalition of organisations campaigning to repeal Article 40.3.3 (or the Eighth Amendment) from the Irish Constitution which introduced a constitutional ban on abortion by recognising the right to life of an unborn child.
The Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment is a growing alliance of over 60 organisations including human rights, feminist and pro-choice organisations, trade unions, health organisations, NGOs, community organisations and many others.
They are working together under the Coalition banner to raise awareness for a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.
Over 60 organisations representing over 1.5 million people nationwide have now joined the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment and today they held an event in the Project Arts Centre in Dublin.
The group used the event to highlight their reach and regional spread, and to outline its programme of activities for the coming months.
Commenting at the event, Ailbhe Smyth, Convenor of the Coalition, said:
“The Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment is now the largest ever civil society grouping in Ireland working to achieve constitutional change on this issue.
“Our 61 members range from human rights, feminist and pro-choice organisations to trade unions, NGOs and community groups. Combined, we represent 1.5 million members nationwide, which is over one-third of the entire population of the State.
“The fact that we have achieved such significant milestones in terms of the reach and diversity of our membership is indicative of the real appetite that exists for repealing the Eighth Amendment. The groundswell of support in recent months, in particular, has been remarkable; there’s no denying that this has moved up a gear since the general election earlier this year. From The Rose of Tralee, to festivals, to badge wars, to painting over murals, there was no escaping the momentum over the summer.
“For over two years, polls have consistently shown that the majority of people in Ireland support repeal of the Eighth Amendment. People recognise that the Amendment is a shameful relic of the past. The Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment is saying that women deserve better and Ireland can do much better. We will lead that call for change because this issue can no longer be painted over.”
At today’s event, the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment outlined its programme of activities for the coming months. These will include:
The publication of the Coalition’s ‘5 Principles for Future Abortion Legislation or Regulation Frameworks’ in October.
A series of public conversations that will include the following:
Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood (Tuesday, 4th October)
#Notacriminal – Abortion and The Law in Ireland (Tuesday, 18th October)
Everything You Wanted to Know About Abortion but Were Afraid to Ask (Tuesday, 8th November)
Further public conversations will be announced at a later date.
Members’ capacity-building events starting with a ‘Values Clarification’ workshop in September.
A members’ think-in in October.
The publication of position papers on a range of legal, medical and ethical questions on abortion from different perspectives throughout autumn 2016.
All publications and information on events will be available at www.repealeight.ie and the Coalition’s Facebook page,www.facebook.com/repeal8.