Latest: Together for Yes launch paper on repealing the 8th; Save the 8th group to meet in Dublin

(Left to right) Dr Cliona Murphy with Ailbhe Smyth and Dr Aoife Mullally as the Repeal the Eighth group Together For Yes publish their position paper today. Photo: Sam Boal/

Update: 12.08pm: A public meeting in opposition to the repeal of the 8th amendment will take place at Clontarf Castle in Dublin at 7.30pm tonight.

Niamh Ui Bhriain has claimed that “momentum is building” behind the Save the 8th campaign and other groups campaigning for a No vote.

She said: “We see it every day, we hear it from our people on the ground, we see it in the panic of the Yes campaign.

“More and more people are waking up to the fact that this legislation is much more extreme than they imagined.

People think that this is just about the hard cases, but that is not true.

"The public are being asked to vote on a proposal that would legalise abortion for healthy mothers and healthy babies and would legalise abortion up to 24 weeks in the case of a mental health issue, or up to birth in other scenarios.

"This is much too extreme for the Irish electorate. It just goes too far. And people will reject it.”

Niamh Ui Bhriain
Niamh Ui Bhriain

The meeting will from a range of speakers including businessman Declan Ganley, journalist John Waters, and Vicki Wall, from “Every Life Counts”.

12.08pm: 12-week proposal 'addresses needs of women ordering abortion pills,' says Together for Yes

Access to early abortion care in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy will address the needs of women in Ireland who are currently ordering online abortion pills, according to the Together For Yes campaign.

The group published their position paper this morning clarifying why they think removal of the Eighth Amendment is needed to regulate the use of abortion pills in Ireland.

Ailbhe Smyth, Campaign Co-Director said: “Women need regulated doctor’s care, not unregulated abortion pills. As a country we need to start accepting that abortion pills are a reality, but that they need to be regulated."

Figures released by online provider, Women Help Women, show that 878 women in Ireland used its service in 2017, an increase of 190% since 2016.

In the first three months of this year 323 women ordered pills online, a 90% increase on the same period last year.

Dr Cliona Murphy, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in the Coombe Women’s and Infant University Hospital and Tallaght Hospital, said: “Women in Ireland who use abortion pills do so without any medical supervision whatsoever. They are also less likely to seek out medical help from a doctor if they experience any complications, due to fear of prosecution.

There should never be a situation whereby someone who needs healthcare is denied it.

"The 8th Amendment is denying women and girls this access and it needs to be removed.”

Dr Aoife Mullally, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in the Midlands Regional Hospital and the Coombe Women’s and Infant University Hospital, said: “We need to provide safe and legal access to abortion in Ireland and removing the 8th amendment from the Constitution is the only way to do that.

"By removing the 8th, we will provide a safe alternative to - and eliminate the risks that arise from - the use of online abortion pills outside the law in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.”

10.18am: Together for Yes group claims 'two women a day are taking abortion pills in Ireland'

At least two women a day are taking abortion pills in Ireland, according to Together for Yes.

The pro-choice group says new figures show a 90% increase in the number of women ordering abortion pills online in the first quarter of the year.

Online provider Women Help Women are one of the two main abortion pill suppliers and say 878 Irish women used their service last year.

Co-director of Together for Yes Ailbhe Smyth says it shows abortion in Ireland is a reality.

Ms Smyth said: "At least two women a day in Ireland are taking an abortion pill in secrecy, in very bleak circumstances in their bedrooms, in their bathrooms.

"I heard of a woman the other day renting a hotel room through fear and a sense of anxiety."

- Digital Desk

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