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Statement from the Standing Committee of the Church of Ireland to the Citizens’ Assembly regarding the Eighth Amendment

The Standing Committee of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland approved the following statement, at its meeting on Tuesday (22nd November), for submission on behalf of the Church of Ireland to the Citizens’ Assembly in the Republic of Ireland.  The statement relates to the Assembly’s consideration of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution:

‘While the Church of Ireland has consistently expressed the view that abortion should be confined to situations of strict and undeniable medical necessity, it has also since 1983 publicly questioned the wisdom of addressing such complex moral problems by means of amendments to the Constitution.

‘Indeed unfolding events and a range of tragic human cases over the past three decades have demonstrated the deficiencies of the constitutional approach. However, we would wish to emphasise that to review or question the value of the Eighth Amendment at this time is not by implication to call for easy access to abortion. Rather, it is to suggest that those complex and hopefully rare situations in which medical necessity might require termination of pregnancy would be more suitably addressed through nuanced legislation. The Church of Ireland offers its good wishes and prayers to the Assembly in its weighty duty of striving to find a way forward in this sensitive matter, so that the rights of both mothers and the unborn may be duly balanced and careful reflection may take place regarding the place of the Constitution in addressing complex moral and social matters.’

For further information please contact:

Church of Ireland Press Office 
Church of Ireland House 
61–67 Donegall Street 
BT1 2QH 

Tel: (028) 9082 8880 – from Northern Ireland & Great Britain

Tel: (048) 9082 8880 – from Republic of Ireland

Email: Press Office

Peter Cheney

Press Officer 07774 295 369

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