ICTU Women’s Conference hears call for abortion services to be provided free of charge following referendum

unite-white-out-of-redUnite says low-income women must be able to access reproductive healthcare

June 14th: Speaking at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Women’s Conference in Enniskillen today (Thursday), Unite Regional Equalities Officer Taryn Trainor said that last month’s overwhelming vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment must not only be swiftly followed by appropriate legislation, but that steps must also be taken to ensure that income is not a barrier to accessing reproductive healthcare.  Ms Trainor also reiterated Unite’s call for the decriminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland.

“Last month’s vote in the Republic to repeal the Eighth Amendment sent a clear signal that people in Ireland believe women should have bodily autonomy and access to the relevant healthcare services.

“In this regard, Unite is calling on Health Minister Simon Harris to confirm that women seeking a termination will be able to access services free of charge through the Maternity and Infant Scheme.  We are also urging the Minister to outline the steps he is taking to provide financial assistance to women forced to travel for a termination in the case of a fatal foetal abnormality prior to enactment of the legislation.

“Repeal of the Eighth Amendment represented a significant victory for women in Ireland.  Now the task is to ensure that income is not a barrier to accessing reproductive healthcare.

“We also need to continue campaigning for decriminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland.  Abortion services must be free, safe and legal throughout the island of Ireland”, Ms Trainor concluded.

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