What kind of abortion law does Together for Yes really want? Or to put it another way, what do some of its leading members want? While Together for Yes wants repeal of the 8th amendment and supports the Government’s proposed abortion law as “workable and reasonable”, its leaders want to go even further than this. Some of them support abortion for any reason at any stage of pregnancy.
The Together for Yes campaign is led by three organisations: Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC), the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI), the Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment (CR8A). The three co-directors of the campaign come from each one of these three organisations. The Irish Family Planning Association is also a major part of it.
Let’s have a look at what kind of abortion laws these bodies advocated before forming the Together for Yes campaign.
ARC wants abortion available without limit.
Last December, commenting on the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee, the Abortion Rights Campaign said: “We welcome the recommendation to allow access to abortion without restrictions as to reason. However restricting this to only the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is far from the barrier-free access required to provide women and pregnant people in Ireland with proper, compassionate care. …. ARC’s advocation of free, safe, legal access means no such restrictions or classifications are necessary.” (Our italics).
In their FAQ section we can read: “Should abortion be available on demand?”
“Abortion should be available to any woman who asks for one. The reason, be it health concerns, rape, fatal foetal abnormality, or simply not wanting to remain pregnant, should be an issue only for the pregnant person, her doctor and anyone she wishes to tell.”
So, they want abortion on demand with no gestational limits. This couldn’t be more extreme but we can’t find it on the Together for Yes website.
It is not difficult to find similar positions with among representatives of the Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment.
Sinead Kennedy, who was their secretary and is now one of the eight members of the Executive for Together for Yes, was interviewed on Morning Ireland in March. Here is an extract:
Interviewer: “But no protection in law specifically for the unborn up until the point of birth?” Sinead Kennedy: “Yeah, I think it seems to be a very reasonable proposal, again, putting trust where it belongs”.
So, this representative of Together for Yes believes that the unborn should have no protection in law up to birth. Again, their position couldn’t be more extreme but you won’t see it clearly presented on their website.
The Irish Family Planning Association is part of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which is a huge provider of abortions worldwide.
On its website the IFPA says: “The IFPA supports the choices of women and girls with an unplanned or crisis pregnancy in all circumstances.”
The National Women’s Council does not appear to support abortion on demand throughout pregnancy but under the regime it seeks (which is very similar to what the Government seeks), very few abortions would be refused in practice.
The public really have a right to know that the leaders of Together for Yes support an extremely liberal abortion regime, and some of them support no limits on abortion at all. The more the public come to know this, the less likely they will be to vote for Repeal.