With the 8th Amendment now just days away, we are allowing both sides of the debate to put their points across to the people of Tipperary, and to allow open discussion on what is a contentious issue.
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Starting the debate for the *Vote Yes – Together for Yes* side is Denise Sammon.
Abortion is a reality in every single county in Ireland but it is unsafe and unregulated.
Repealing the 8th amendment means ensuring women who are having abortions will have access to safe and regulated care and support from their doctors and families.
That the message from Together For Yes today, who say figures from the Department of Health and Social Care in the UK show that 18,112 women in Ireland travelled to the UK for an abortion between 2012 and 2016.
The figure includes women who gave an Irish address when they attended a UK hospital or clinic, and 2,860 who decided not to provide an address.
They do not include women in each county who have taken an abortion pill, or who may have travelled to another jurisdiction. They include 169 from Carlow, 171 from Cavan, 312 from Clare, 1,448 from Cork, 571 from Meath, 388 from Donegal, 6,314 from Dublin, 715 from Galway, 293 from Kerry, 669 from Kildare, 203 from Kilkenny, 173 from Laois, 83 from Leitrim, 520 from Limerick, 106 from Longford, 434 from Louth, 269 from Mayo, 99 from Monaghan, 219 from Offaly, 127 from Roscommon, 172 from Sligo, 403 from Tipperary, 295 from Waterford, 229 from Westmeath, 429 from Wexford and 441 from Wicklow.
At a doorstep in the Together For Yes headquarters this morning, original members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment this morning reiterated the need to vote Yes next week so to introduce a regulated and safe system which addresses the reality of abortion in Ireland. They included Deputies Billy Kelleher, Jan O’Sullivan, Louise O’Reilly, Jonathan O’Brien, Brid Smith, and Senator Ned O’Sullivan.
Catherine Noone, Committee Chair, said: “The game-changer is the abortion pill and the ease with which it can now be ordered online. Usage of pills in this country tripled between 2010 and 2016. Furthermore, 63% of women who take an abortion pill are already mothers. Every day, at least 3 women are taking an abortion pill on their own in secrecy in their bedrooms and bathrooms with no medical support.
“The question in this referendum therefore is not about whether we want abortion in Ireland – because we know it is already here, in every single county. The question is do we want to regulate it, make it safe, and provide care for those who need it, or do we want to continue standing over unsafe, unregulated access to abortion and continue putting women in deeply distressing situations during a time of crisis in their lives.”
Orla O’Connor, Together for Yes Campaign Co-Director, said this morning: “We cannot hide from the reality any longer that abortion exists in every single county in Ireland. Women travel. Women take the abortion pill. They do so in unsafe, unregulated conditions and without the care or support of their doctors. The question is do you want unregulated and illegal abortion to continue or do we regulate it and keep women safe.”