‘The Eighth Amendment Does Not Serve Women Well’


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“The people that I want to see around the bed are the doctors, not the lawyers. In my view the eighth amendment does not actually serve women well when issues of their life, their safety, their health, are in question.”

“The thing that I find extraordinarily difficult about this kind of a case is that as a consequence of the eighth amendment, and I’m somebody who was opposed to the eighth amendment, the Labour Party was opposed to the eighth amendment, we said it was wrong to put it into the constitution, but the people of Ireland in their wisdom decided differently – and that’s their prerogative in any referendum to make a decision as they see fit.

“But what we have now, and will have, without a doubt, is over a period of time cases which will throw up the most agonising and difficult dilemmas and at the centre of that will inevitably be young women and the babies that they’re carrying.

Tánaiste Joan Burton speaking to political correspondents earlier today.

Joan Burton says abortion laws do not serve women well (Irish Times)

Previously: How Soon Is Now

Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

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60 thoughts on “‘The Eighth Amendment Does Not Serve Women Well’

  1. Nessy

    ” the Labour Party was opposed to the eighth amendment, we said it was wrong to put it into the constitution, but the people of Ireland in their wisdom decided differently ”

    How many years ago was the amendment put in there? Over 30 Years ago. Many of the people who voted for it are dead. Times have changed. People’s perspectives have changed. The church no longer brainwashes the children as severely as it did. Let us have a referendum to remove it!

    And also Joan, the people didn’t want the water charges, supposedly neither did Labour, but you still fecking fast tracked it into law as soon as ye got into government!!

    End of rant.. for now

    1. Clampers Outside!

      Yup, more than a generation (25yrs) ago, a different people back then we were. And only a 50 odd percent turnout too.

      I was still trying to see how many gobstoppers I could hold in my mouth back then

      1. Stephanenny

        What gets me every time I think about is that no-one under the age of 49 had a vote. The turnover in voters since this amendment passed must be more than a million.

    2. ReproBertie

      Many of the people who voted Labour into government are dead. Times have changed. People’s perspectives have changed.

      Should we have an election every time X,000 people die after an election or should we have one every time a government introduces a policy that people don’t like?

      1. Nessy

        By your own logic the 8th amendment should never have been added and the constitution should have been left as is. Sure we’d still be under British Colonial Laws and divorce would still be illegal!

        The fact of the matter is that times are changing and have changed, yet Ireland seems to be regressive in many aspects (such as allowing a foetus’ existence having precedence over a female’s life).

        If it were men who were inflicted with carrying an unviable foetus around for months knowing it’ll be stillborn, unable to survive outside the womb, abortion would be a celebrated ritual.

        We as Irish citizens should be allowed the option of abortion

  2. JimmytheHead

    minister for cutting social welfare is now minister for womens health? trying to back date your opinions just make you sound like a hipster Joanie – and a deceitful, callous, point-scoring one at that.

    1. ABM

      All very fine, but will she turn off the respirator and put her foot on the pedal bin?

      Any leader worth their salt knows never to ask those under their command to do something they wouldn’t do themselves.

      1. andyourpointiswhatexactly

        Pedal bin? What are you on about? Do you want Joan to go to college for 7 years to learn to be a doctor?
        TOSH AND PIFFLE, man.

        1. scottser

          you need a 7 year education to work a pedal bin now? i must remind the missis that i’m not qualified to clean up after meself so. fair play abm, you’re a brilliant advocate for the misogynist!!

        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly

          Abortionists fling foetuses in the bin much in the way one might attempt to shoot a hoop.
          That’s how evil they are.

          1. Odis

            My question wasn’t addressed to you.

            I was speaking to the engineer and not his greasy rag.

            You might have failed to notice we aren’t discussing abortion here, we are discussing removing life support from a corpse, at the request of her nearest and dearest. The fact that you don’t appear to be aware of this demonstrates your foolishness – bluntly.

    2. Odis

      @ Jimmy – I don’t think she is after scoring points. I think it is a sincerely held position. The truth of what she says doesn’t require any big intellectual leap. She is being 100% straight in my opinion.

        1. Odis

          Your point being that Joan should rush out to make a statement whenever something hits the news, No doubt if she did you would accuse her of cheap opportunism.

          The fact of the matter is you dislike the woman and she can’t do anything right in your eyes.

          Don’t expect everyone to appreciate your ****ish rationalisations though.

      1. Daisy Chainsaw

        A sincerely held position that she’s going to do the sum total of sweet fu€k all about.

        Words are cheap.

        1. Odis

          A sincerely held position that she can’t do “the sum total of sweet fu€k all about. – In case you hadn’t noticed – The boss is Enda Kenny – Its his call – he’s legislated on the issue. And he says that’s that.

          But please don’t let the simple fact that she can’t actually do very much, stop you from slagging her off.

          1. Lorcan Nagle

            It’s true that there’s not much she can do. But she didn’t even do that.

            It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Claire Daly’s bill wouldn’t pass – IIRC no bill introduced by an oppostion TD in private Member’s time has passed in the history of the Republic. So Labour voting in support of the bill would have been purely symbolic, but it would have been a powerful symbol.

            Ultimately, talk is cheap, Burton can give lip service to abortion rights all she wants, but evey time she toes the FG line she shows what’s truly important to her.

          2. Odis

            I’d have to agree with you. to a large degree.
            However, I stand by my original argument that the position she offers here is sincerely held. And not as Jimmy implies, some stunt to court popularity.

            In reality, its fairly tough not to be appalled by the legally enforced use of a corpse as a some sort of zombie incubator. Like a plot from some cheap Hammer Horror.

    1. scottser

      it’s all very well to agree with her, but why aren’t they pushing for the referendum while they’re in a position to? it’s not as if they’ll get a chance after the next election..

      1. ReproBertie

        Maybe in the lead up to the next election they will see that the time is right to have a referendum and will lash it into their election campaign to try and save a seat or two.

  3. phill sheehy

    well joan of n’ Arc if you feel so strongly about it, you are in a position to do something about it, o wait you just sat on your hands the other day, instead of getting labour to vote to repeal the 8th!!

  4. ABM

    As David Quinn of the Iona Institute beautifully pointed out in today’s Irish Independent, the Eight Amendment, has saved so many lives since its insertion into our Constitution, particularly the most vulnerable unborn from destruction. This Amendment continues to reflect the will of the majority of the Irish population, deriving as it does from the Natural Law and God, recognising that there are, again as David Quinn convincingly argues, objective moral truths which regulate our existence and which cannot be countered, whatever the perverse prevailing wind of the day.

    I have no doubt that Ireland, will furthermore continue to recognise the moral absolute that is the family founded solely on the holy matrimonial union of one man and one woman for life come the appalling referendum in May.

    1. droid

      lol… ‘objective moral truths’ – this coming from someone who thinks dissenting from catholic doctrine is a more serious offence than the rape of children.

    2. scottser

      yeah..though, while you think of god as infallible, man isn’t. so your interpretation of ‘natural law’ is flawed. please go back and take 1st year religion again, you seem to be missing a few important details.

    3. Dubloony

      Em, is that a satirical piece?

      It hasn’t saved any, as women are going to UK, from http://www.ifpa.ie/Hot-Topics/Abortion/Statistics
      “Between January 1980 and December 2013, at least 159,779 women travelled from the Republic of Ireland to access safe abortion services to another country.”

      It’s made it harder for women to access services for safe terminations, it hasn’t stopped them.

      Families are as messy, while many are based on one man/woman, they are also one woman/ kids, blended families and generally all shapes and sizes.

      1. Delacaravanio

        I hope it’s satirical. They are surely not seriously suggesting lives have been saved by the crazy eight amendment.

    4. ReproBertie

      “the holy matrimonial union of one man and one woman for life”

      Is there a referendum in May to ban divorce?

    5. Niallo

      “Natural law and god”
      …so its the Jim Jones defense, “god makes us do it” ?
      Ok, I think I see where your coming from now.
      Btw and apropo of nothing at all, have you heard about benjy the gay bull ?
      Turns out he cant read.
      Anyhoo, thats freedom speech for you. Now, wheres that scotch…

  5. Lorcan Nagle

    “The 8th Amendment doesn’t serve women. But we won’t vote to have it put on the referendum ballot next year ”


  6. Where's Frilly?

    Jesus that ABM speaks some amount of tripe don’t he?

    What sorta mood management drugs must a adult human be taking to actually type a post that includes David Quinn, the Ionanonononos and moral absolutes.

    The lad must be doing some amount of rocking in corners ….

    1. Odis

      Bet you Abe doesn’t do mood management drugs Frilly. Coz moods are a gift from the Lord. I think the pills are to try and help you deal with emotional problems and mood swings and the like. Though I’m no medical expert.

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