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NEW YORK, NY — In a historic referendum on abortion access for women in Ireland, its citizens voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment, which effectively banned abortions in the country since 1983. Planned Parenthood commends and celebrates the brave women in Ireland who led the efforts to ensure women have access to the medical care they need, including abortion.

Statement from Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global:

The women of Ireland took an enormous stride today with the repeal of the dangerous Eighth Amendment from the Irish Constitution. Today, my thoughts are on Savita Halappanavar and other women who needlessly lost their lives. I was incredibly inspired by the courage of Irish women to share their #HomeToVote stories and their personal, often painful experiences under the draconian law. With this vote, Ireland has shown the world the need for compassion and a rejection of the outdated belief that a woman should be forced through pregnancy against her consent. Everyone deserves to decide if and when to become a parent. Planned Parenthood stands with the Irish Family Planning Association and the women of Ireland, and we congratulate them on this historic victory for women’s health and rights

Prior to the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, women who sought abortions and medical professionals who provided them could face up to 14 years in prison. The amendment inflicted physical, emotional, and psychological harm on women. Under the extreme law, medical providers were forced to abandon women when they were the most vulnerable and in need of compassionate care. With this vote, the people of Ireland are building a more just and equitable nation and putting difficult chapters of their past behind them.

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

For more than 45 years, Planned Parenthood Federation of America has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world through our international arm, Planned Parenthood Global. In partnership with more than 100 organizations across 12 focus countries in Africa and Latin America, we advance the health and rights of young people, women and families, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable and underserved. Last year, our partners reached over a million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services provided by our partners. Our unique sustainability model sets us apart, as we empower partners to stand on their own. We help grassroots organizations develop solid reproductive health programs, identify other sources of funding, build their communications and advocacy skills, and develop strategic plans.