London, 20th December 2018 – If you are covering the news that today the Irish President has signed the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill into law, you may find the following statement from Marie Stopes UK helpful.
Richard Bentley, Managing Director for Marie Stopes UK said:
“We want to congratulate all the abortion reform campaigners who bravely stood up, made their voices heard, and enabled free, safe and legal abortion care in the Republic of Ireland. However, while we welcome this bill, we are disappointed that some aspects of the new legislation are not entirely in the spirit of the referendum.
“This reform was meant to be about trusting women to decide what is right for them with the support of their doctor, but unnecessary barriers, such as the mandatory three-day waiting period and the continuing criminalisation of abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy, mean that these promises are still far from fulfilled.
“Some of the provisions in the bill will make it challenging for women to access timely care, particularly for those in remote communities, in violent and coercive relationships, and for teenage girls living at home, who may find it hard to see a doctor once, let alone come back three days later.
“People in Ireland voted by a landslide to repeal the Eighth Amendment and this bill represents a huge step forward for women’s rights, but many women could still feel there is no option but to make the lonely journey to England. We will be keeping a close eye on how many Irish women are travelling to our clinics in England in the coming months, and will continue to offer support to anyone who needs us.”
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