SIR – As a member of Farmers for Choice, we believe that the 8th Amendment discriminates in terms of women’s healthcare and well-being. We are asking people to ‘Vote Yes’ for the removal of the 8th Amendment.
Under the 8th Amendment a woman cannot legally refuse unwanted medical treatment during pregnancy, labour and birth. We think that women should be in full control of their pregnancy.
As the law stands, a woman is not allowed abortion care unless her life is in ‘immediate danger.’ In 2010, Michelle Harte was denied cancer treatment in University Hospital Cork. She was told to travel to the UK for an abortion.
By the time she had made the travel arrangements, it was five weeks later and the cancer had become more aggressive. She died a few months later. We need to introduce abortion care when physical health is at risk.
We also need to introduce abortion care on the grounds of mental health. In 2016, we had a young teenager held in psychiatric institution because she wanted an abortion. She could no longer continue with the pregnancy and became suicidal. We cannot force women to remain pregnant.
The proposed legislation of allowing abortion up to 12 weeks is the only way to legislate for a woman who is raped. There is no way of proving rape. Rape can happen when a woman is in a relationship or even married to the person.
Currently there are three women a day in Ireland taking illegal pills bought online. It is already happening. We need to legislate for it.
Members of Farmers for Choice are based all around Ireland.
But, as we are largely based in rural parts it is difficult to attend marches and demonstrations that take place in cities.
However, last September, a group of us from Offaly, Kerry, Galway and Mayo leafleted at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore and we look forward to canvassing over the coming weeks.
If you are interested in joining Farmers for Choice contact us on twitter.
Farmers for Choice,