President and Lay Leader's Statement on the 8th Amendment Referendum Result

The following Statement was issued by the President and Lay Leader following the result of the Referendum on the 8th Amendment

1. The democratic result which repeals the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution now places on the Oireachtas the responsibility of providing an opportunity for careful and sensitive legislation for safe, legal and rare terminations of pregnancy. The Methodist Church in Ireland looks forward to contributing to the consideration of such legislation in the Oireachtas. We have always opposed what is called "Abortion on demand" but have always recognised that exceptional cases (such as rape, incest, and fatal foetal abnormalities) may give rise to terminations and we would wish to see these provided for in the new legislation.
2. The bringing of all women into contact with their GP and health services when they perceive that they have a 'crisis pregnancy' is a most important advance because it provides an opportunity to inform women of the supports available to them to keep their babies and to ensure that comprehensive services are provided to them. This is key and will require huge investment by Government in women and children health and social services so that women and their partners will trust that having the baby will not impose intolerable burdens on them but will be a positive outcome. The objective must be to reduce the rate of abortions as far as humanly possible but where they are chosen or unavoidable that they are safe, legal and rare.
3. MCI will respond in detail expanding on these points in a Statement in due course.

Rev. Dr. Laurence Graham President of the Methodist Church in Ireland
Dr. Fergus O'Ferrall Lay Leader of the Methodist Conference.
Issued by: Rev. Roy Cooper - Press Officer, Methodist Church in Ireland.