It’s a YES! FAQ.
Last updated: 26th May 2018
The 8th has been repealed! Presumably ASN can close now?
Alas, no. While we are, of course, ABSOLUTELY THRILLED that the referendum has voted to repeal the eighth amendment, all the referendum has done is remove the bit of the Irish constitution that makes abortion legislation impossible.
As of right now abortion in Ireland is still illegal in almost all circumstances and the current legislation, the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 will continue to operate until a new law for the regulation of abortion is introduced. People who need support are still contacting us every day. And as always, we are helping them.
What happens next?
There is now scope for Ireland to legislate for safe, legal abortion in more liberal circumstances, but we don’t know how long it will be before the legislation goes though. While there’s talk of a law being in place by the end of the year, no one knows what will actually happen. And while we hope the government decides to go with the recommendations of the Citizens Assembly (link) and the Oireachtas Committee on the 8th Amendment of the Constitution, we are waiting to see what the law will look like.
In addition to legislation, there are other pieces that need to be put into place. Healthcare practitioners will need to agree to provide abortions. Training may need to be provided. Agreement will need to be reached as to where abortions will take place. And in Ireland, where there is no national health service, costs will need to be determined.
Who will still need ASN?
In the short term, the same people who have always needed us. Because in the short term, nothing has changed. Not for people in the Republic of Ireland, not for those in Northern Ireland who fall through the cracks of NHS funded abortions in England, and not for those in the Isle of Man, where they are also on the eve of legislating for safe legal abortion.
In the medium term, people who fall outside whatever abortion legislation passes in Ireland – because the first rule of abortion legislation is that it only ever restricts the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalised – in short, ASN’s clients.
And even when there is legal abortion available IN Ireland, there will still be women and pregnant people who need abortion beyond 12 weeks, who fall through the cracks of legal provision or, for whatever reason, need to travel to England for abortion. About the 8th sets out clearly what kind of abortion travel is likely to still happen.
Does this mean ASN will need less money as you’ll be helping fewer people?
Once the Irish legislation and provision are in place, it does seem likely we will be helping fewer people. But there’s a lot more we’re interested in doing, so we’re not stopping fundraising!
Once laws are passed and we see what reality looks like for the people who need safe abortions in our current countries, we have plans to expand our services to additional places, jurisdictions or to additional groups, to help more people in need.
We’re at the initial phase and once we have specifics we’ll be sharing them with our supporters and friends to see what you think.
One thing is for certain, ASN will be here, helping pregnant people from Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man (and maybe some other places in future!) for as long as it takes for them to be able to access legal abortion closer to home.
If you’d like to donate to help us keep doing our vital work, please do!