Citizens’ Assembly Vote for Abortion hailed as ‘A huge step forward for women,’ by LGBT activist

Smyth Ailbhe

LGBT and abortion Activist, Ailbhe Smyth says Citizens Assembly Vote on Abortion honours women’s human rights.


The Citizens’ Assembly this weekend overwhelmingly for abortion to be available in Ireland. 64 per cent said yes to abortion with no restrictions, meaning that a clear majority want Irish women to have full access to abortion rights.

“It’s very clear from the outcome that there is a huge appetite for progressive change,” said Ailbhe Smyth, Convenor of the Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment, and cover star of this month’s GCN.

The Assembly also voted that the 8th Amendment should be replaced “with a constitutional provision that explicitly authorises the Oireachtas to legislate to address termination of pregnancy, any rights of the unborn, and any rights of the pregnant woman.”

“In fact there has in effect been a recommendation from the citizen’s assembly to transfer responsibility for this issue from the constitution directly to the legislature,” said Smyth.

“It means the 8th amendment would go, if the recommendation were to be implemented, and so to would the 13th and 14th amendments, which regulate travel and the provision of information.”

It is possible that a referendum on the 8th amendment will take place next year, and the Oireachtas will be tasked with sketching out the legislation it will enact if the Irish people vote Yes to repeal.

According to Smyth the vote from Citizen’s Assembly says to politicians: ‘We are placing this fair and square in your hands, where it always should have been, and which of course you have always known. There is nowhere else to hide, you need to act to provide for abortion in this country and you need to get on with it.”

48 per cent of the Assembly voted to allow abortion without restriction up to 12 weeks gestation, while 44 per cent chose to allow it up to 22 weeks. The remaining eight per cent wanted no restrictions placed on gestational age.

“It is a huge step forward for women, bringing them closer to be able to access abortion here in this country, in the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare, and very importantly, honouring women’s human rights as well as our basic needs,” said Smyth.






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