Una Mullally: Oireachtas must act urgently on abortion mandate
There is a difference between complex constitutional issues and issues that don’t belong in the Constitution
Eighty seven per cent at the Citizens’ Assembly voted that Article 40.3.3 should not be retained in full. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Despite – or perhaps because of – the best efforts of all those involved, from the organisers to the citizen members themselves, what the Citizens’ Assembly showed at the weekend is that abortion has no place in the Irish Constitution, and nor is the Constitution the effective or appropriate place for women’s healthcare to be controlled. The Citizens’ Assembly voted to completely remove the Eighth Amendment and replace it with a statement mandating the Oireachtas to legislate.
The lead-up to citizen members voting on recommendations on the Eighth Amendment (Article 40.3.3), exemplified the confusion of having a constitution exert power over the reproductive choices and rights (or lack thereof) of women in Ireland.