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'We still wrong women in Ireland today': Fine Gael launch referendum campaign

Meanwhile, an event organised by Doctors for Life heard the Eighth Amendment hasn’t impinged on how doctors and nurses deliver healthcare.

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR was joined by ministers, TDs, senators, and councillors calling for a Yes vote in the referendum.

Fine Gael Councillor Vicki Casserly and Caroline and Michael McCarthy shared their personal stories to illustrate why they believe we need to repeal the Eighth Amendment and legislate for regulated, medically supervised terminations for women in crisis.

FG Yes 782_90543019 Vickey Casserly telling of her experience Sam Boal Sam Boal

Speaking at the event at Smock Alley Theatre, Leo Varadkar said: “This is a once-in-a-generation question.

“It was 35 years ago that the Eighth Amendment was put into our Constitution. No one under the age of 50 has had a chance to have their say on this issue. That opportunity will come on 25 May.

We have spent much of the last few years atoning for historic wrongs done to women. Truth be told, we still wrong women in Ireland today. The Eighth Amendment does not prevent abortion. All it does is allow us to sweep it under the carpet just as we did so often during the dark decades of the past.

fg yes 806_90543017 Caroline and Michael McCarthy who told of their experience with abortion and An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Sam Boal Sam Boal

“A Yes vote does not mean there will be no restrictions; there will be a waiting period of 72 hours to allow for reflection, and counselling to allow alternatives to be offered and considered.

“Terminations beyond 12 weeks will remain illegal except in very specific circumstances. Viable pregnancies will not be aborted. Instead the baby will be delivered early.

In the Ireland of 2018, we still export our problems and import our solutions. In the Ireland of 2018, we turn a blind eye and cold shoulder on our sisters, nieces, daughters, colleagues and friends.

Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Professor Mary Higgins said the Eighth Amendment has caused major, well documented problems for the medical profession in caring for pregnant women in Ireland.

Meanwhile, at an event organised by Doctors for Life, around 100 medical practitioners said the Eighth Amendment hasn’t impinged on how they deliver healthcare.

The group of doctors and nurses expressed concern about the government’s proposals to allow unrestricted access to abortion for 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

Commenting after the meeting, Dr Andrew O’Regan said: “The government’s proposal for abortion would enforce the provision of abortion services on local GP surgeries even though the government knows that the proposal they have put forward has nothing to do with healthcare.

“The proposal would introduce unrestricted abortion in the 1st three months of pregnancy for any reason whatsoever.”

Another group, GAA athletes for a No vote, also gathered in Dublin today.

The group says it plans to release a series of videos from well known GAA players over the coming month, in which players will give their reason for voting no.

The GAA as an organisation has said it will remain neutral on the issue of the Eighth Amendment.

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