Brussels – 26 May 2018 – The European Humanist Federation rejoices at the first results of the referendum on repealing the Irish constitution’s 8th amendment.
“The landslide victory of the pro-choice side in yesterday’s Irish referendum is a milestone for all European secularists and humanists. It is a victory for the freedom and dignity of women, but it is also a sign that those who advocate the authoritarian recipes of the past in our irreversibly plural and secularised societies, whatever their religious heritage, have no chance in Europe today”, said Giulio Ercolessi, President of the European Humanist Federation. He followed on explaining that “the Irish electors had shown that the substantial lobbying and financial efforts of the international religious right and the intense activism of a minority cannot reverse the course towards self-determination as a cornerstone of human dignity and cannot dismantle what is today our common European civic identity”. Finally, he declared:
Especially the many and many younger voters who travelled back home from everywhere in the world just to cast their vote, as they already did three years ago in the same-sex marriage referendum, have shown that there will be no way back in this domain.
While the figure of 68% for ‘Yes’ stems from exit polls only, this result brings hope to millions of Irish women that they will soon have the right to make decisions over their own bodies, families and future.
This is a fundamentally strong statement from the people of Ireland. The Humanist Association of Ireland would like to congratulate the grassroots campaign and our politicians who made this resounding result possible. The HAI fully support and endorse the Government’s plan to bring forward the necessary legislation in a timely manner.
, said Steve Rawson, Chairman of the Humanist Association of Ireland, a member organisation of the European Humanist Federation.
The EHF will keep following the development of a law effectively implementing this result. It is however important to remember that Ireland is not the only case where abortion is illegal: Maltese women are still to receive the same hope that Irish women have received today.
In many other countries such as Spain, Poland, Portugal or Hungary, anti-choice movements and governmental forces have set their eyes on restricting access to abortion. In many other countries, such as in Italy or Germany, abortion is legal but women face countless obstacles such as generalized conscientious objection or lack of reliable public information on abortion.
The EHF, together with its partners will keep working on improving the effective access to safe and legal abortion to all European women. It’s their bodies and their right!