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ROSA Statement on its Alternative Citizens’ Assembly 26 November 2016

What is the Citizens Assembly?
The Government has commissioned a polling company to select 99 Citizens’ to discuss the 8th amendment and make recommendations to the Dail. The decision of the Citizens’ Assembly is non-binding. It will take at least 6 months to report, followed by another 6 months minimum of discussion in a Dail committee before the possibility of a repeal 8 referendum is even debated in the Dail chamber. It’s not the fault of the 99 citizens chosen, but the Citizens’ Assembly is a delay tactic of the Government, pure and simple. Anyone who has campaigned in any way for abortion rights, including by posting on social media, has been deemed ineligible to take part in the Citizens’ Assembly. In fact, one person was excluded from the Citizens’ Assembly for wearing a pro-choice badge! Given that there is a rapidly growing movement for repeal, this is not representative of the broad population, and especially not of the youth. It’s also the case that non-citizens’, migrants, refugees etc., are especially affected by Ireland’s abortion ban given restrictions they may face on their travel.
ROSA’s Alternative Citizens’ Assembly – Which Witch Gets a Choice?
Today’s Alternative Citizens’ Assembly, “Which Witch Gets a Choice?”, organised by ROSA draws a tongue-in-cheek link between the continued pontificating by the political establishment over whether or not women should have a say on their reproductive rights, and the policing of women’s bodies and personal lives that’s happened down through the centuries.
There will be a judge, Enda Kenny and a Bishop presiding over a coven of 99 witches, who will make their case for abortion rights.
This action coincides with the government-established Citizens’ Assembly. So we ask you to have your say on this day – come and take part in our Vox Pop to say why YOU want there to be an immediate repeal 8 referendum.
Repeal the 8th – Pro Choice – Separate Church & State
There is no need for more pontificating about the 8th amendment. It simply has to go.
“Well what would you replace it with?” we hear Leo Varadkar, Simon Harris, Enda Kenny etc. echoing on repeat in our ear. Simple answer – NOTHING. In a civilized society, there is simply no place for a constitutional restriction on women’s bodies and freedoms! After the 8th is repealed, there will still be the current restrictive legislation and it will be up to the Dail to pass new legislation.
ROSA will be campaigning for pro-choice legislation that recognises that neither the state, nor the church, nor anyone else can decide what women and pregnant people do with their own bodies – it has to be their OWN decision.
The movement for repeal, led by women, young and LGBTQ people is a harbinger of progress and in ROSA we want to see this movement not only achieving abortion rights, but breaking with the repression of the past by fully separating church and state, campaigning for proper LGBTQ positive sex education in schools, and challenging all social and economic inequality.

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