Press Release: Repeal the 8th Coalition

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Terry Flynn , Director of Campaigns HAI, Ailbhe Smyth of the Coalition to Repeal the 8th and Rónán Ó Dalaigh, Director of Education of the HAI Board.

Humanists join the Repeal the 8th Coalition

The Board of the Humanist Association of Ireland this week took the decision to join the Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment. As Humanists, we call on those more than 250,000 people in Ireland who identify themselves as non-religious, to support this campaign. For too long a narrow, restrictive and hypocritical approach to the treatment of pregnant women, derived from religious dogma, has driven thousands to seek a British solution to Irish problems with the help of the UK health service. The HAI is joining more than 50 other organisations in calling for the repeal of an amendment which has impeded appropriate legislation in this area.
This policy is consistent with the core values of humanism: Compassion, Equality and Reason. It is compassionate to support pregnant women in the face of immense challenges. Equality of treatment for all is a basic human right, and as this constitutional amendment uniquely impacts on women, it should be repealed. It is an offence against reason for women to be obliged to carry a foetus to term in cases such as fatal foetal abnormality.
The Board of the HAI acknowledges there is a divergence of opinion within the Association concerning the details of the legislation which would need to follow Repeal. However, during consultations held during the development of our Strategic Plan, repeal of the 8th amendment was specifically identified as a campaign which had widespread support within our organisation.
The proposal of a Constitutional Convention is yet another attempt to evade political responsibility on the part of our legislators. There needs to be a decision taken to hold a referendum on the question of the 8th Amendment and to proceed with legislation thereafter. Such legislation needs to be informed by the human virtues of Compassion, Equality and Reason.

July 2016
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For information contact:
Terry Flynn, Director, Humanist Association of Ireland.
email: terryflynnhai@gmail.com Tel: 086-3168224