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Ireland: The Right to Decide About Reproduction Belongs to All Women

May 23rd, 2018

The World Association for Sexual Health urges all citizens and organizations in Ireland to support the freedom to decide about their own bodies, reproduction and family planning and go to vote on May 25th.

The citizens of the Republic of Ireland will vote on May 25th whether to amend the constitution regarding the conditions when women can have abortion. Currently in Ireland abortion is legal only when the mother’s life is threatened by the pregnancy, including suicide. If a simple majority votes “yes” the constitution will be amended, which would make it possible to create laws in the future that allow for other conditions for abortion in safe conditions.

The World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) calls for amending the constitution in Ireland in order to enable full right to abortion to all women in their own discretion. The Declaration of Sexual Rights (2014)  states that everyone has the right to sexual autonomy and bodily integrity (article 3), which encompasses the freedom to decide about one’s body and reproduction.

Furthermore, the Declaration of Sexual Rights states explicitly that everyone must have full access to sexual health information and services including pregnancy termination (article 12). National laws must grant women the power to decide about their own body and reproduction regardless of any cultural or religious objections.

Sexual rights are human rights, and the freedoms they define belong to every individual. Someone’s freedom of conscience, religion or cultural belief does not affect the other’s right to make decisions about their own body, reproduction or family planning.


WAS is an international organization, with more than one hundred member organizations across the globe, that promotes and advocates for sexual health and sexual rights throughout the lifespan and across the world by advancing sexuality research, comprehensive sexuality education, and clinical care and services for everyone.

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