Publishing with a Purpose
Case study: Repealing the 8th by Fiona de Londras and Máiréad Enright
Our Shorts formats are designed to be accessible to a wide audience, providing timely interventions and input into important policy issues, and Repealing the 8th - Reforming Irish abortion law is a perfect example of how this can work. The aim of the book was to provide simple, clear explanations of the legal arguments around the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution, that banned abortion, alongside feminist analysis and proposals for policy-makers to change the law.
The Referendum on the 8th Amendment was announced while the book was in production, and we were able to not only bring the initial publication date forward, but enable the authors to update the book with additional information and a new afterword, so it could be used in the short campaign window.
Aimed at legislators, the media and above all, campaigners, it was important for the book to be widely disseminated, especially in the context of this campaign, which was notable from the start for its grassroots activism. The open access option meant it could be downloaded for free, and as a lynchpin the wide range of meetings, talks and interviews by De Londras and Enright, it was one of the key campaign tools, explaining exactly what was possible, and cutting through confusion and misinformation.
On 25th May, the Irish people voted overwhelmingly to repeal the 8th Amendment, but the journey isn’t over yet. The next phase will be enacting legislation, and the book will continue to be a vital resource in the ongoing work.
Repealing the 8th - Reforming Irish abortion law was published by Policy Press in 2018, and you can buy it here.
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