Today felt like a turning point – or maybe that moment when you realise the turn started a long time (32 years?) ago. By the time you see it, it’s following its own unstoppable momentum. Enda Kenny take note.
This morning, the Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment was launched in Buswells Hotel in Dublin, by Cecily Brennan, Alice Maher, Eithne Jordan and Paula Meehan. For those of you who don’t quite remember what the Eighth Amendment – also known as Article 40.3.3 – says, here it is:
“The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”
More than 240 writers, artists, film-makers, performers, musicians – artists across the disciplines, in other words – have signed a statement that says:
“The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, Article 40.3.3, inserted in 1983, has prevented our doctors and our legislators from providing proper care to women in Ireland.
The Eighth Amendment undermines the status of the Irish Constitution. It is a key source of Ireland’s failure to reach international human rights standards and of the state’s failure to meet its obligations to vindicate women’s human rights.
We, the undersigned artists, call for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution and for action by our elected legislators to provide women in Ireland with modern reproductive health services in line with best medical practice and international human rights norms.”
If you are a practising artist and would like to sign the statement go to the campaign’s website. Or if you just want to see who’s already signed, that’s where to go. Then sign it.
There’s a Facebook page and a Twitter handle: @artistsrepeal8
Henry McDonald wrote a big online feature in The Guardian here
And Elaine Edwards’ Irish Times account of the launch is here
Please read and share widely. It really will make a difference.