The Eighth Amendment


Sir, – When it comes to the summer referendum on the Eighth Amendment, it is simply not true, as is argued by Fr John Joyce (“Abortion is barbaric whether carried out legally or not”, Rite & Reason, February 27th) that those of us who campaign for constitutional change hide behind euphemisms. The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI), one of the leading organisations in this referendum campaign, is very clear that we need to remove the Eighth Amendment from our Constitution, and recognise the need for abortion care in Ireland.

We are very clear that we must remove the Eighth Amendment to ensure that we introduce a regulated and safe system, where women and girls have access to the whole range of healthcare options that they need.

We need abortion care that is based on best medical practice, and the lived realities of women who face an unwanted pregnancy or a pregnancy that has turned into a crisis pregnancy.

The NWCI’s “Every Woman Healthcare Model – Accessible, Affordable Healthcare Options for All Women and Girls” details the caring and compassionate reproductive healthcare options we envision for women. Comprehensive reproductive healthcare for all women includes abortion care. This is not a euphemism, but the reality for women in Ireland who currently order abortion pills online or travel abroad for abortions without the necessary medical follow-up.

Repealing the Eighth Amendment is the first step to meaningful and controlled change. – Yours, etc,



National Women’s

Council of Ireland,

North King Street,

Smithfield, Dublin 7.

Sir, – If, as Fr John Joyce writes, “the zygote or fertilised ovum . . . is an actual, not a potential, human being” where do twins and triplets come from a few weeks later? – Yours, etc,