Statement from Nasc’s Board of Directors regarding the 8th Amendment

Thu, May 10, 2018

We, the Board of Directors of Nasc, the Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre wish to highlight the disproportionate impact that the 8th amendment to the Constitution has on vulnerable migrant women living in Ireland.

Migrant women and in particular asylum-seeking woman, refugee women, undocumented women and victims of trafficking do not necessarily enjoy the right to travel freely to another State to access reproductive health services like abortion.

We in particular note that asylum seeking women seeking an abortion face huge and often insurmountable obstacles, as they must attain permission from the Department of Justice to leave the State. This is often a lengthy process requiring permission from the Minister for Justice, travel documentation, entry and re-entry visas. It also amounts to a hidden “remedy” as there is no public information available to these women.

Nasc also urges the public to be mindful of this and of other practical challenges that may face pregnant migrant women. For example, an asylum-seeking woman will only be entitled to an allowance of €21.60 per week and may not have the independent means to fund an abortion in another State (assuming immigration permission to travel may be granted).

We urge those exercising their vote on the Thirty-Sixth Amendment of the Constitution to be particularly mindful of the impact the 8th amendment has on migrant women.

Signed by:

Othman Al Dawamenah
Brenda Cooper
Dr. Liam Thornton
Sheila McGovern
Hamzeh Odeh
Fiona Donson

To read Nasc’s Joint Statement with migrant rights organisations on the 8th amendment, click here