Abortion top priority for Amnesty International Ireland

Amnesty International Ireland spent more than €275,000 on abortion campaigning last year – far more than on any other issue.

Responding to an inquiry from The Irish Sun, the group revealed it spent €160,687 calling for much weaker abortion laws in Ireland during the second half of 2016.

The request also uncovered that an additional €114,776 went towards a campaign known as ‘My Body, My Rights’, which calls for abortion to be decriminalised in several countries, including the Republic of Ireland.


In contrast, Amnesty International Ireland spent around €90,000 campaigning against torture and €60,000 on individuals at risk.

The group claimed that women have a “human right” to access abortion.

Colm O’Gorman, Amnesty Ireland’s Executive Director, said the group decide their campaign priorities based on the “gravity of human rights violations”.


Ciarán Kelly, Head of Communications at The Christian Institute, accused Amnesty International of “double standards” over abortion.

He said: “On the one hand, Amnesty claims to support human rights. On the other, it is calling for all the rights of the most vulnerable human beings to be taken away.

“In other parts of the world, it opposes regimes that kill innocent people. Why is it so blind to the dignity, the worth, the right to life of people in the womb?

“Amnesty has ceased to be an impartial voice for basic human rights and has instead become a mouthpiece for the abortion industry.”


In its 2016/2017 report, Amnesty International endorsed a United Nations call for Ireland to “decriminalize abortion in all circumstances” and ensure that children have access to it.

Ireland’s Eighth Amendment currently pledges to “defend and vindicate” the equal right to life of the unborn and the mother, “as far as practicable”.

But following prolonged pressure to hold a referendum on the issue, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced that a vote will be held in May or June next year.

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