‘The People Decided To Keep That Reference In The Constitution’


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In the Dáil.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was asked by Anti-Austerity Alliance – People Before Profit TDs Ruth Coppinger and Brid Smith about the Goverment’s plans to hold a citizen’s assembly on the 8th amendment.

This happened:

Enda Kenny: “The fact of the matter is that in 1983, the 8th amendment was introduced into the Bunreacht na hEireann, the Irish constitution, by the Irish people. And that was guarantee to the right to life of the unborn. There were three referenda after that. And, in each case, in each of those referenda, by the people, not just by any parties, the people decided to keep that reference in the constitution.”

Ruth Coppinger: “Sorry, Ceann Comhairle, that’s completely. The people did not vote on the eighth amendment subsequently. They voted on side issues including information..”

Ceann Comhairle: “Will you let the Taoiseach answer, please.”

Further to this, the group Terminations For Medical Reasons (TFMR) has written an open letter to the Taoiseach, stating:

We in TFMR Ireland found it absolutely appalling that you deliberately mislead the Dail, the Oireachtas and the people of Ireland yesterday when in Dáil Éireann you made the following statement in relation to the 8th Amendment to the Constitution: –

The fact of the matter is… there were three referenda after that and in each case, in each of those referenda by the people, not just by any parties, the people decided to keep that reference in the Constitution.”

This was a false statement and one which we believe was intended to deceive the Dáil, the Oireachtas, the people of Ireland and the watching world into believing that the Irish people have had three opportunities to determine whether or not to retain the 8th Amendment.

We would like to point out to you, Taoiseach, that the fact of the matter is that on no occasion since 1983 has any such choice been put to us.

The people of Ireland have never had an opportunity to Repeal the 8th and could not therefore have, on three occasions “decided to keep that reference in the Constitution.”

You, Taoiseach, were a fervent advocate for the insertion of the 8th back in 1983 and have been complicit in the abuse of thousands of women in Ireland in the intervening period by continuing to deny them their Human Rights, as have been established by numerous International Human Rights bodies.

We are calling upon you to immediately correct the false statement you made in our Dail yesterday…

Open letter from TFMR to Taoiseach to correct false statement or resign (TFMR, Facebook)

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71 thoughts on “‘The People Decided To Keep That Reference In The Constitution’

        1. Peter Dempsey

          Why should the doctors / nurses carrying out the procedure work for nothing?

          Want an abortion? Then pay for it yourself.

          1. Daisy Chainsaw

            Why should smokers get free chemo? Fat people get free heart surgery? Alcos get free livers? Do the staff who treat them do it for free? My taxes pay for these wasters to get treatment. I’d have no problem with some of my taxes paying for women to have abortions.

          2. Peter Dempsey

            They are necessary life-saving treatments. Abortion is rarely needed to save the mother’s life.

  1. Cean

    TFMR are absolutely correct here

    We have had four referendums since the 8th Amendment in 1983
    Two referendums to remove suicide as grounds for abortion were rejected
    One referendum so the 8th can not be used to limit freedom of travel was passed
    One referendum so information on services available outside of Ireland can be given was passed

    You could argue that the referendums clarified aspects of the 8th but in no way could you claim like Enda did that the people decided to keep that reference in the Constitution.

    1. neil

      If anything, the two that were passed permitted more rights related to abortion, where the two that were rejected sought to restrict rights that remained following the 8th amendment. You know, like, the opposite of what the Taoiseach said.

  2. Rugbyfan

    would the people before profit ever question the profit TDs make from claiming expenses?

  3. Vote Rep #1

    She is right. If, as he says that only the people can decide, then put it to the bloody people. What all this faffing around? Absolute cowards.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      He wants some people to decide first with his cockamamie “Citizen’s Convention”, which he hopes will reject it. But we’ll have a referendum on something about Patents… Cos that’s what’s really important!

  4. Anne

    Do I detect smirking from Finian McGrath? Or is that just the normal scrowlly face he puts on.
    I voted for that chump..

  5. Clampers Outside!

    Enda is lieing. The people did not choose to keep the 8th Amendment because the people were not given the choice to.

    Simple as, Enda is LYING through his hairy hole !

      1. Anne

        Your allowance has been used up.. goodbye. :)

        Cmere, are you getting enough vitamin D.. a commenter was concerned about that for you the other night.

  6. rotide

    Thats a flat out lie. Not misleading, or an attempt at spin.

    It’s a plain old fashioned lie.

    1. Caroline

      It’s not a deliberate actual lie though. It’s the kind of minor factual elision you might make when shouting at the kids to STFU about something you have no real interest in, like whether Transformers can transform as quickly underwater. You might make some minor yet definitive misstatements about their powers and the laws of physics in order to quickly restore peace and your good temper, at which time you will cheerfully correct the record if necessary.

      1. 15 cents

        i mean… i guess water would have to slow them down, right? but maybe theyre built in a way that makes it the same speed no matter what, coz theyre aliens, maybe physics doesnt come into it so much?

  7. DubLoony

    What are they afraid of? David Quinn, Mr. Iona “Institute”?

    This has to happen soon. The campaign will be one of the nastiest pieces of work ever witnessed.
    This is a health issue, to be discussed by a women and her medial practitioner and anyone else that she chooses to bring into the conversation.
    Everyone else can just sod right off.

    1. Rich

      @DubLoony you have answered your own question. The ’83 referendum was really ugly, and a new one would be the same. If Repeal the Eighth is made an election issue with pro repeal TD’s being elected then the Dail might have the courage to do something. But this Dail certainly won’t have unless the pressure builds beyond that of even the water charges campaign.

      1. cluster

        Refusing to donate one’s liver causes the death of human beings in need of a liver transplant.

        Would you sign up for compulsory organ donation?

        1. newsjustin

          I wouldn’t.

          But the circumstances are different so it’s not unreasonable that we treat them differently.

          1. newsjustin

            A foetus at a young age can only survive within the body of the woman carrying it. Aborting it is certain death.

            Not agreeing to donate one’s liver does not have such direct a consequence. There may be a very strong moral argument for donation, but no direct “smoking gun” as it were.

            Different, but still comparable, situations.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Not agreeing to donate one’s liver does not have such direct a consequence.”

            If I’m in a situation where I’ll die without a functioning liver, of course it does. You not giving me your liver/lung/kidney/whatever will directly lead to my death. Surely you are morally, and thus legally, obligated to give me your liver seeing as a woman is morally obligated to let a foetus live off her body, in your world.

          3. neil

            How about, instead of giving your liver to the needy person, we’ll just mandatorily implant an extra liver in everyone to grow, then when required we’ll call you in for it to be harvested for a needy person. Surely you’d be in favour of that sort of thing being required.

          1. Clampers Outside!

            Sorry, ‘compulsory’ … I signed a petition to reverse the use of Donor Cards, in that, you carry a Non-Donor Card, if you don’t want to donate… and those without are taken to be donors.

          1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            True. As pointless as your continual comments on here. What’s keeps you going?

    2. ahjayzis

      They’d be mad to be – that man is on one MASSIVE losing streak when it comes to referenda.

  8. Panty Christ

    We need to open the floodgates of options that women can make for themselves

  9. Brother Barnabas

    I don’t think that was a deliberate attempt to deceive the Dail on Kenny’s part – the fellow’s just an idiot.

  10. Brian

    Simple question How would a woman you don’t know will probably never meet deciding to have a termination of a pregnancy for whatever reason Have a direct affect on your life in any way shape or form, The truth is it won’t . You would swear the way some go on if the people did vote to repeal 8 it would be made compulsory

    1. ahjayzis

      It’s always a mystery to me why it would be the end of civilisation itself if there isn’t a sea between Irish abortions and Ireland.

    2. newsjustin

      So if something doesn’t affect you directly, you’re not interested? Is that what you’re saying?

      That’s a pretty isolationist position to take. I’ll never be on death row, be on a flimsy overcrowded boat in the Mediterranean, be homeless in a Moscow sewer, be an albino schild in central Africa, etc. These things don’t affect me directly – but I’m interested in my fellow humans.

      1. ahjayzis

        Or in this instance, you’re interested in pretending the clump of cells in a fellow humans body is a joint tenant of your fellow humans body and thus suspending proprietary ownership and autonomy of that body until the thing you’re pretending is a human being becomes one. You’re all heart.

    1. fluffybiscuits

      Except for when the mother gets septic blood poisoning and dies but its ok because every misogyinist knows in their heart that have the best interests of the mother and her cells at heart.

    2. ahjayzis

      “Hey there young rape victim! You’re a MAMMY NOW! You’re a MOTHER! Isn’t that wonderful?! You’re also, thanks to your attacker, no longer in control of your own body, since it’s now jointly owned by the state acting on behalf of a zygote, yippee! It’s because we love you.”

      1. Pip

        Spot on. Rape by its very nature nullifies the idea of reproduction, i.e. two people reproducing themselves deliberately. Why on earth would you want to carry, nurture, help to reproduce in that situation?
        Nature obviously doesn’t care, life isn’t all that sacred, as long as the species survives.
        We, on the other hand, can and do care.

    3. The Real Jane

      Which mother does the 8th protect? Not the ones whose health and welfare are equal to a clump of cells? You do know that pregnancy is physically, socially and financially far more dangerous for women than abortion?

      I suspect that with a name like Dermot you’re never going to suffer the indignity of knowing that your life is now equal with a bunch of cells and that you might actually be left to die if something goes wrong.

  11. 15 cents

    that pose in the still photo .. i hate how he talks. such a robotic gowl. and ya can tell he really thinks he’s some kind of statesman. i full-on hate him. and as for lying, sure he’s always at that. bad state of affairs when the countrys leader is widely known as a liar.

  12. :-Joe

    I don’t know what’s wrong with this country.

    I would be more than happy to have ENNNNNnnnnnDDDDDDAAAAAAAbot managing my meat and two veg for the remainder of his political life and then long and deep into his legacy, however hard or soft that might be for both of us


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