Government Approves Holding Referendum On Abortion

Government Approves Holding Referendum On Abortion
Andrew Lowth
Andrew Lowth

30 Jan 2018

The Government has signed off on a referendum on abortion to take place this year.

The Cabinet of Ministers held a special meeting on the issue at Government buildings last night.

They approved a 'repeal and replace' model for the referendum, which means if the vote is passed then the 8th Amendment would be removed from the Constitution, but replaced with an article which allows Dail and Seanad to leglislate on the matter.

After the meeting, the Taoiseach spoke to the media alongside Health Minister Simon Harris and Childrens Minister Katherine Zappone.

Leo Varadkar said: "We know that thousands of Irish women - from every county in Ireland - go abroad for abortions every year.

"We know that many women are obtaining abortion pills through the post to end their pregnancies. So we have abortion in Ireland, but it is unsafe, unregulated and illegal.

"The question has to be a Yes or No one; do we reform our abortion laws or not?"

He added: "I will advocate for a Yes vote. My own views on abortion have evolved over time.

"Life experience does that. As minister for health, I became convinced abortion had no place in the Constitution."

It's hoped a referendum will take place in May.