Pro-Choice Awareness Week Kicks Off on the 21st March and Ellen O’Malley Dunlop, NUI Seanad Candidate, supports the Repeal of the 8th Ammendment
Words by Ellen O’Malley Dunlop, NUI Seanad Candidate and former CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.
“Ireland made history in May 2015 when the people voted yes in the marriage equality referendum. Surely, in 2016, Ireland can now accept that a woman is capable of making a decision that is right for her in very difficult circumstances.
We do not want to have another X case, another Savita Halappanavar, another Miss Y, Miss A, Miss B or Miss C. We do not want to have another suicidal 14-year-old rape victim to be denied access to an early termination. If there’s one thing a suicidal rape victim needs it’s immediate help and compassion and not to be treated like a criminal.
It’s time to repeal the Eighth Amendment and replace it with appropriate legislation that respects women’s choices. When I was CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre I never commented on this issue because the policy of the centre is that it’s mission is to prevent and heal the trauma of rape and sexual assault for victims of these most heinous crimes by providing counseling for them to recover. If a client of the DRCC is pregnant as a consequence of a rape and needs support on what to do with the pregnancy, they will be referred to an agency for the appropriate support to make the decision, which is right for them.
I have looked through the DRCC’s Annual Reports between 2007 and 2014. Of the clients seen at the centre and who were known to have become pregnant as a result of being raped, 35% chose to have terminations and 65% did not choose to terminate the pregnancy. Of the 65% who chose not to terminate, 29% had miscarriages, 57% parented and 1% overall had the baby adopted and 1% had the baby fostered.
I believe these figures, from the most recent 7 years, bring a whole new perspective on this most serious issue. We need to trust women, as they are the ones who know best what to do with their own bodies.”
Ellen is also currently serving on the board of:
Gaisce, the President’s Award; The O’Malley Clan Association.
Ellen is outgoing CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and was previously a member of the boards of:
The National Women’s Council of Ireland; The Task Force for the Child and Family Agency (Tusla); The Irish Council for Psychotherapy; The European Association for Psychotherapy; The Family Therapy Association of Ireland, The National Steering Committee on Violence Against Women (VAW); The Irish Observatory of VAW.
Ellen O’Malley Dunlop – 086-2673139
Contact – Fiona O’Malley, Communications Executive, 0874495695 or email firstname.lastname@example.org