The Social Democrats have called on the government to commit to the publication early next year of a referendum bill to give effect to the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment.
The party’s co-leader Catherine Murphy TD was a member of the cross-party committee which deliberated for 13 weeks and considered the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly as well as a range of expert opinion.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the committee’s final report in Leinster House today, Deputy Murphy said:
“The Social Democrats fully support the committee’s key recommendations for a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment and for legislation to allow for abortion up to 12 weeks without restriction. This is in line with our own policy going to the National Conference. In particular, the Social Democrats strongly believe that reproductive health services, including abortions, are appropriately a matter for legislation and medical professional standards, and have absolutely no place in our Constitution.
“We welcome this important moment of political consensus on a way forward to ensure equality of access to reproductive health care services for all women regardless of their financial means. We are now calling on the government and the Taoiseach to get behind the committee’s recommendations to provide for reproductive health services, including abortion, to be made freely available within the public system.
“It is vital that a referendum bill and legislation to give effect to the committee’s detailed recommendations are drafted promptly and brought before the Dáil for debate early in the new year so that the constitutional issue can be put before the people without delay.”
20 December 2017