Sinn Féin launch referendum campaign; Save the 8th say plans would allow abortion of babies up to 6 months

Sinn Féin says people have a chance to change an historic wrong - by voting yes in the abortion referendum.

The party has launched its official campaign calling for a repeal of the Eighth amendment next month.

Leader Mary Lou McDonald says the Eighth robs women of their dignity and equality when facing the most horrific situations of their lives.

She says it is about showing care and compassion.

"We cannot, as a society, stand by as rape victims are traumatised and coerced into carrying pregnancies to full term," said Ms McDonald.

"We cannot, as a society, stand by as the state makes exiles of traumatised and vulnerable women and of those who have received a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality."

Meanwhile, the Save the 8th Campaign says the government's plans would allow abortion for healthy babies up to 6 months into a pregnancy.

The proposed legislation allows for terminations before viability if there is a serious risk to the health or life of the mother.

Two doctors including one obstetrician or gynaecologist would have to examine the woman and approve an abortion in cases where a termination was sought after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Save the 8th spokesperson Mairead Hughes says the Eighth amendment protected her during her own pregnancy.

She said: "These proposals are shocking.

"Barra was born at six months and one day, he was intubated obviously because he wasn't ready to breathe on his own at that stage.

"I saw him wince when he was intubated, I saw him react to pain. It's frightening to think that healthy babies will be aborted.

"It will be cruel, it will be painful."

Digital Desk

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