Referendum on 8th Amendment to be held by early June, Cabinet says

by Antonio Miles January 31, 2018, 7:32

The Irish Government has formally backed proposals to hold a referendum on the state's constitutional amendment on abortion by the end of May 2018. Abortion is now forbidden in the country as contained in the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.

The Irish government proposed to have a referendum on mitigation of the abortion law passed at the end of May, the news agencies reported.

Currently, terminations are only allowed in the Republic of Ireland when the life of the mother is at risk. In recent years there has also been a significant increase in the number of women in Ireland illegally buying abortion pills online.

If the repeal is approved, Ireland's parliament will set a new law on abortion, which Varadkar said would be based on recommendations by an all-party parliamentary committee.

On Saturday, Mr Varadkar said he would be campaigning to liberalise Ireland's abortion laws, which are among the most restrictive in Europe He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" can be misunderstood.

Ireland is set to hold a historic referendum on liberalizing its abortion laws, which now contain a constitutional ban against the procedure.

Many Irish women have to travel to other countries for abortion or source abortion pills from overseas online. My own views on abortion have evolved over time. "Life experience does that".

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"I know this will be a hard decision for the Irish people to make", said Mr Varadkar.

How Ireland has modernized: The once powerful Catholic Church nowadays plays less of a vital role in Irish society, as witnessed by a 2015 referendum where Irish voters decided by a landslide in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.

'As a former minister for health, I do not believe we can persist with the situation whereby women in crisis are risking their lives through the use of unregulated medicines and I don't believe the constitution is the place for making absolute statements about medical, moral and legal issues.

"Whatever happens in respect of the Constitution, there will continue to be a need to support women, especially women who face challenging circumstances in pregnancy", Doran said.

"This evening, the Cabinet gave formal approval to the holding of a referendum on abortion which will be held in late May or early June this year".

However, human rights and women's rights groups have welcomed the decision.

If Article 40.3.3 was repealed outright, it might subsequently be argued before the courts that the unborn have residual rights arising under other Articles of the Constitution, stated the Attorney General - who highlighted that this could continue to restrict the power of the Oireachtas to legislate on the issue. Women and girls in Ireland deserve their dignity.


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