Sheffield councillor backs Irish abortion rights

Coun Ben Miskell
Coun Ben Miskell
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A Sheffield councillor has travelled to Ireland to call for a change in anti-abortion laws.

Labour councillor Ben Miskell, who is also an Irish citizen, joined Irish Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin to knock on doors and speak to voters ahead of a referendum to abolish the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution.

The referendum, which potentially gives Irish voters the chance to change Ireland’s hard line abortion laws, is set to take place this Friday.

Coun Miskell, who represents Park and Arbourthorne Ward on Sheffield Council, said: "Too many women in Sheffield died from backstreet abortions before the law was changed here in 1967. Now it’s time for the law to change in the Republic of Ireland, as well as Northern Ireland.

"Women’s rights are human rights and that’s why I flew across to Ireland to help change the law. At the moment, many Irish women are forced to take the journey over to England and pay for an expensive private abortion. Access to safe and legal abortion is a fundamental human right."

In Sheffield, Coun Miskell is a White Ribbon Ambassador, which is a role set up to challenge men and boys to tackle male violence against women.

He travelled to Dublin as part of a delegation from the Labour Party Irish Society, comprising councillors and campaigners from throughout England.