December 11th: Trade union Unite has made a submission to the Citizens’ Assembly urging a referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment and highlighting the issues facing low-income women seeking to access a termination. The union’s submission also looks at some of the workplace issues facing women with crisis pregnancies.
Commenting, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:
“Reproductive rights have transformed the working lives of women and allowed immeasurable educational and social benefits. Repeal of the 8th Amendment, and the enactment of legislation enabling women to access a termination in the Republic, is of particular importance to low-income and working women who may face particular obstacles travelling to obtain an abortion.
“The cost of obtaining a termination outside the jurisdiction may be prohibitive for low-paid women workers, those dependent on Social Protection, or women in relationships where they do not enjoy financial autonomy. In addition, many women needing to travel for a termination face childcare issues which may be both practically and financially insurmountable”.
Unite Equalities Officer Taryn Trainor added:
“Working women in a crisis pregnancy situation may face a range of workplace issues which, in practical terms, not only restrict their ability to travel for a termination but also to access essential post-abortion healthcare. At the most basic level, women may be unable to obtain leave of absence at short notice and without explaining the situation to their line manager. Upon return, women may find it difficult to take the time necessary for post-abortion check-ups, or to take time of work for any health or wellbeing issues connected with the abortion”, Taryn Trainor concluded.