Irish women 'treated like criminals' says Amnesty report on abortion laws

Irish women 'treated like criminals' says Amnesty report on abortion laws

IRELAND'S restrictive abortion laws have been slammed for putting women in danger and them women like criminals, according to a report published today.

Worldwide human rights organisation Amnesty International’s latest report entitled She is not a criminal: The Impact of Ireland’s abortion law draws attention to Ireland’s strict rules governing abortion.

At present women in Ireland can legally have an abortion only if the pregnant woman’s life is at risk.

Women cannot have a termination on grounds of rape, incest or fatal foetal impairment.

The new report documents cases of Irish authorities denying women and girls abortions in order to prioritise the life of the foetus – which is protected by an amendment to Ireland’s constitution added in 1983.

It is estimated that over 4,000 women travel to other countries to obtain an abortion every year.

Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty said:  

The recent Marriage Equality referendum showed a country that prides itself on being an open and inclusive society, but all is not well in the Republic of Ireland. The human rights of women and girls are violated on a daily basis because of a constitution that treats them like child-bearing vessels.

Women and girls who need abortions are treated like criminals, stigmatized and forced to travel abroad, taking a serious toll on their mental and physical health. The Irish state can no longer ignore this reality, and the appalling impact it is having on thousands of people every year.”

The report was issued on the same day as Amnesty launched its My Body My Rights campaign in Ireland.

The campaign will seek to change the law with petitions, demonstrations and letters targeting Irish leaders.