The singer Hozier, who scored a global hit with Take Me To Church, a song attacking homophobia in the Catholic church, is backing a campaign to reform Ireland’s abortion laws.
Andrew Hozier-Byrne told i that Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion laws was considered “cruel and degrading” by human rights organisations.
The Irish singer, who sold 10m copies of Take Me To Church, is supporting a campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment which guarantees the right to life of the unborn and was inserted into the Constitution after a referendum on the issue in 1983.
Hozier joined Cillian Murphy, the Peaky Blinders star, on a March for Choice last month, which gathered international support for the Repeal The Eighth campaign.
Hozier, from County Wicklow, told i: “The Eighth amendment has been condemned by the UN and Amnesty International as degrading and cruel so I’m very happy to take part in that democratic process at home and show support for it.”
A significant majority of voters are in favour of changing the Constitution to allow for abortion but only in limited circumstances, such as cases of rape and fatal foetal abnormality, according to the latest polling.
Hozier, 26, said: “Recent polls have shown 70% in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment so it’s a conversation that needs to be had.”
Hozier exposed church ‘hypocrisy’ on hit song
In June, a UN human rights panel condemned Ireland for the inhuman treatment of Amanda Mellet, who in 2011 was forced to keep a foetus that had congenital defects and would die in the womb or shortly after birth. The UN panel called on Ireland to reform its restrictive abortion laws.
The Grammy-nominated Take Me To Church, which topped the charts in 12 countries, was inspired by Hozier’s frustration with the “hypocrisy” of the Catholic church and its hostility towards same-sex relationships.
Hozier may tackle the abortion debate on his second album, which he is currently writing.
“Once the cross goes in it doesn’t come out so we’re all haunted by our own gods. So you never know,” he said.
Hozier admitted that the global response to Take Me To Church, streamed nearly 600m times on Spotify, made it a daunting song to follow.
“I can’t begrudge its success. I don’t hate it just yet. Before my debut I had a lot of material and I threw it all out. That album was written over a two year period. I’m looking forward to the challenge of writing the next one now.”