The issue of women’s reproductive rights has been a major topic of debate in recent years, both here in Ireland and overseas. With the referendum on the eighth amendment coming up in the new year, the issue of abortion has been the main focus of potential advancements in the Irish medical system in the last few months. Although there has been a huge surge of support for the repeal campaign, it has nonetheless caused major controversy. There are so many lenses through which to analyse the importance of repealing the eighth amendment, which currently deems an abortion to be illegal unless there is a fatal threat to the life of the mother.

The repercussions of a change to the eighth amendment would have social, political, religious and medical implications for Irish women every single day. In the run-up to the referendum, it is vital that we all inform ourselves on the arguments being given for and against the constitutional amendment, on all of those fronts.

Regardless of stance on the issue, all aspects must be taken into account so as to yield healthy debates. This is not a decision that the collective consciousness of our country can make lightly. Every vote must be well thought through. If this is an issue that you are passionate about, or something that you merely wish to learn more about from a practical and medical standpoint, then I suggest that you go to Regent’s House at 5pm today, where the Master of Maternity from Holles Street Maternity Hospital, Dr Rhona Mahony, will be discussing the reproductive rights of women both in Ireland and abroad.

Dr. Mahony, is a known supporter of the campaign to repeal the eighth amendment. In a speech given at the Labour Party “think-in”, in September, Mahony made her views on the issue abundantly clear. Mahony likened the decision of whether or not a woman’s life was in enough danger to warrant an abortion to a “medical roulette”.

Tonight, however, Mahony will also be discussing the difference in reproductive healthcare that is available to women around the world, with a particular focus on women’s reproductive healthcare in the developing world. The event is hosted by DU Amnesty International and will be followed by a questions-and-answers session with Mahony.