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Irish stars calling for abortion reform

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
Cillian Murphy is among those calling for a repeal of the amendment
Cillian Murphy is among those calling for a repeal of the amendment

A group of Irish stars have backed a campaign calling for the repeal of the 8th amendment, saying it "undermines the status of the constitution."

Cillian Murphy, Marian Keyes, Christy Moore, Colm Tóibín and Neil Jordan are among more than 240 artists who have joined the campaign.

Authors including Anne Enright, Edna O’Brien and John Banville alongside filmmakers such as Jim Sheridan and John Boorman have also joined the call to repeal the eighth amendment.

The now-contentious amendment was introduced in 1983, and it acknowledges the right to life of the unborn, equating it with the mother’s right to life. It grants a foetus the same constitutional rights as every Irish citizen. 

Speaking at the social media launch of the ‘Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment’, Alice Maher said: “We are calling on our politicians to do their job and to legislate for the people who elected them and for the people who will go out to vote at the next election and to be very clear and make no mistake about it, we will be voting for those who have the courage to right this wrong.”

Those who have signed up for the campaign have put their signatures to the following statement. 

"The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, Article 40.3.3 inserted in 1983, has prevented our doctors and our legislators from providing proper care to women in Ireland.

"The resulting physical and emotional trauma inflicted on women is inexcusable and an ongoing cause of shame for Irish citizens.

"The Eighth Amendment undermines the status of the Irish Constitution. It is a key source of Ireland’s failure to reach international human rights standards and of the state’s failure to meet its obligations to vindicate women’s human rights.

"We, the undersigned artists, call for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution and for action by our elected legislators to provide women in Ireland with modern reproductive health services in line with best medical practice and international human rights norms."