The stars of the Ireland’s arts, literary and music scene have launched a campaign for the abolition of an amendment to the country’s constitution, that they say prevents reform of its strict anti-abortion laws. Authors Anne Enright and Edna O’Brien, filmmaker John Boorman and actor Cillian Murphy are among those who’ve lent their star power to a call for the repeal of the eighth amendment, which gives a foetus the same constitutional rights as every other Irish citizen, even in very early pregnancy. The campaign seeks to make abolition of the amendment a central issue in the general election, expected to take place early in 2016 and asks all political parties in the republic to commit to an abortion referendum in their election manifestos for next year. “Women’s reproductive choices have no place in the constitution,” says Ailbhe Smith, who is convening a coalition of groups who’ve come together to campaign for repeal of the eighth amendment. “It is time for political parties to stop kicking the can down the road and to commit to a referendum in 2016. Women – 50 percent of the electorate – deserve better from our political leaders.”
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