Ireland debates referendum on abortion law reform

30 January, 2018, 01:47 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Openly gay Irish PM Leo Varadkar to push to liberalize abortion laws

Ministers decide on Monday how best to go about a referendum vote on the subject that will ask the Irish people if the constitution's eighth amendment should be abolished.

He added that we already have abortion in Ireland, which is "unsafe, unregulated and unlawful" and he believes this must change.

Irish premier Leo Varadkar has said he will campaign for abortion laws to be "liberalised" in an upcoming referendum on the issue.

The prime minister says his views have "evolved" since he described himself as "pro-life" in 2014.

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An all-party meeting has also been convened by the government tomorrow to know about the views of top leaders on pertinent issues. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders of various parties attended the dinner at Parliament House Library.

The Irish leader said over the weekend he would campaign for abortion laws to be liberalized, in his first public comments on his personal position.

In the run up to the referendum, health minister Simon Harris will prepare and publish draft legislation proposing laws allowing for unrestricted abortions up to 12 weeks. Kerrigan stated that in choosing to hold the referendum around this time, the government would allow for the thousands of students sitting state exams, those travelling on J1 visas and young people on work placement throughout the summer to cast their vote.

A referendum on the Eighth Amendment is expected in late May or early June.

The announcement comes after a special cross-party parliamentary committee said in December that the constitution was not fit for objective and recommended that the eighth amendment should be repealed.

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"I will advocate for a Yes vote".

A campaign to liberalise abortion gathered momentum in 2012, after Indian woman Savita Halappanavar died in a Galway hospital after she was refused an abortion during a miscarriage.

It also called for expectant mothers to be allowed an abortion at any stage of the pregnancy if doctors diagnosed a foetal abnormality that was likely to result in death before or shortly after birth.

Speaking ahead of the Cabinet meeting, Health Minister Harris said he would outline proposals for a potential law change that he would put before the Dail in the event of the Eighth Amendment being repealed.

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