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31st August 2017, 14:56:29 UTC

Amnesty International Ireland will this weekend be taking the ‘It’s Time. Repeal the 8th’ campaign to the Electric Picnic festival in Stradbally, Co. Laois. Over three days, activists will be inviting festival goers to sign a petition calling on the Irish government to schedule a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment and introduce a legal and medical framework for abortion which respects, protects and fulfils the human rights of women and girls. Festival goers are invited to visit Amnesty’s tent where they can find out more about the campaign, sign up to get involved and take selfies in front of the campaign mural which was created by graffiti artist Magda Cwik.

The annual Amnesty Hour will feature contributions from Tara Flynn, Róisín Ingle and Lynn Ruane. The session will be moderated by Amnesty International Ireland Executive Director, Colm O’ Gorman. The session takes place at 3.40pm on Saturday 2 September in the Leviathan tent.

“Two years ago, Amnesty brought our campaign for human rights compliant abortion laws to Electric Picnic and kick-started an important conversation. Women bravely shared their stories of being forced to travel abroad to have an abortion, due to Ireland’s almost total abortion ban. In sharing their experiences, they gave voice to the experiences of the many, many thousands of women and girls forced to leave Ireland to access medical care. Since then, many more women have spoken about their experiences. It’s been these women’s voices that have changed the conversation on abortion,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.

International human rights law requires an abortion framework that ensures safe and timely access to abortion services for women and girls both in law and in practice. Evolving international human rights law standards, international public health evidence and the experience of other countries shows that providing access to abortion on request at least during early pregnancy would be a human rights compliant framework for abortion. Women and girls also have a right to access abortion services in later pregnancy, in the specific circumstances set out in international human rights law. Lastly, abortion must be fully decriminalised.

“Women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive rights are a core part of the international human rights legal framework. It is long past time that Ireland introduce a legal and medical framework for abortion which respects, protects and fulfils the human rights of women and girls,” said Colm O’Gorman.

Notes to editors:

Amnesty International Ireland spokespeople are available for interview.

Festival goers will be invited to sign a petition calling on the government to schedule a referendum to Repeal the Eighth Amendment. A copy of the petition is available here: https://www.amnesty.ie/its-time-repeal-the-8th-petition/

Follow @AmnestyIreland on twitter for real time updates.