“Cash in your pocket must not determine access to medical treatment”

Unite members will be taking part in today’s Fourth Annual March for Choice. Unite is a member of the Trade Union Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, and earlier this year the union’s Irish Policy Conference passed a motion re-affirming support for a woman’s right to choose. Commenting in advance of the march, Unite’s Ireland Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:

“The right to choose is a trade union issue affecting tens of thousands of working women in Ireland, and Unite is proud to be affiliated to the Trade Union Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment.

“Recent opinion polls have shown that a clear majority of Irish people now agree that wider access to abortion should be made available in Ireland. Together with other civil society organisations, Unite will continue campaigning for repeal of the Eighth Amendment as a prelude to the introduction of fit-for-purpose legislation which will protect the rights of women”, Jimmy Kelly said.

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Unite’s Regional Equalities Officer Taryn Trainor added:

“Reproductive rights have transformed the lives of working women – yet women in Ireland are still denied one of the most crucial reproductive rights, the right to access abortion on this island. Around 5,000 women each year are forced to travel to avail of abortion services elsewhere. Other women – those who are financially or physically unable to travel, or who lack the necessary documentation – are subjected to an abortion regime that treats them as little more than incubators”, Taryn Trainor said.

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Laura Duggan of the union’s Irish Executive and Unite Youth said:

“Many working women – those struggling on low pay or in precarious work – face severe financial hardship in trying to access a safe and routine medical procedure abroad, a procedure that they simply cannot access here. The cash in your pocket should never be a deciding factor in getting medical treatment, but in 2015 the reality is that women with money can have abortions, while women without have babies”, Laura Duggan concluded.

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