Time for care and compassion to prevail – McDonald

Speaking as she launched the party’s campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment in Dublin this morning, Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has said “it is time for care and compassion to prevail”.

Teachta McDonald continued:

“This referendum is about the whole of Irish society finally joining together and saying that women can access the healthcare they need in Ireland when they need it.

“I don’t believe that those who voted to put the 8thamendment into the Constitution in 1983 ever intended for women to die, but women have died and have suffered serious health consequences.

“As we debate the question being put to us in this referendum, we must remember those who have been most badly affected by the 8th Amendment; victims of sexual violence such as the 14 year old rape victim X case, a suicidal child who in 1992 was forced to go to the courts in order to travel for an abortion.

“We may not know their names or anything about them but what we do know is this; girls or women who become pregnant as a result of rape are still being forced to travel if they need a termination.   As a political leader, I know we have a duty to stand up for vulnerable people in crisis situations.  This is an unacceptable situation. There is no compassion in allowing such a situation to continue.

“I also think of the health consequences for women.   Women with high risk pregnancies.  Women with underlying medical conditions.  Women experiencing a miscarriage as was the case of Savita Halappanavar who was denied an abortion that could have saved her life when she was miscarrying.”

The Sinn Féin Leader concluded;

“As a mother of two children, including a teenage daughter, I want to see them grow up in a compassionate and caring Ireland.   An Ireland that doesn’t punish tragedy.  An Ireland that doesn’t turn its back on women and girls. I want my daughter and her friends to be able to live in Ireland where they can make decisions about their own healthcare with the support of their doctors.  I want doctors to be able to act in the best interest of their patients in all cases without fear of criminal sanction.

“It is time for care and compassion to prevail. I am asking everyone to Vote Yes on May 25th.”