Irelands Abortion law has just taken a massive turn

31 January, 2018, 07:32 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced Monday that the referendum to be held in late May will ask voters if they want to keep the anti-abortion amendment or repeal it so parliament can consider new legislation.

Varadkar made the announcement at a press conference after the cabinet meeting had formally approved a referendum on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland.

"We already have abortion in Ireland but it's unsafe, unregulated and unlawful and in my opinion we can not continue to export our problems and import our solutions", Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said at a news conference Monday, according to Euro News. In recent years there has also been a significant increase in the number of women in Ireland illegally buying abortion pills online. Cara Sanquest of the London-Irish Abortion Campaign said: "Today is a huge day for Ireland and the fight for reproductive rights".

Ireland and Northern Ireland have some of the strictest abortion laws in western Europe.

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

How Irish people get abortions right now: Thousands of Irish women currently travel overseas for abortions every year, mainly to England.

Varadkar, who leads the center-right Fine Gael party, said he would campaign to ease the abortion ban. "Life experience does that".

"For my part I will advocate a Yes vote". The Taoiseach stated, "We can not continue to export our problems and import our solutions".

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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.

If passed, women would have access to abortion without restriction up to the 12th week of pregnancy, the health minister Simon Harris has said.

"And it's a matter for people to make their own decision, based on the evidence they hear, compassion and empathy. These journeys don't have to happen", Varadkar added.

Mr Varadkar defended the decision to publish a summary of the advice of the Attorney General to the Government on the issue of the referendum.

If the amendment is adopted by the people, the Oireachtas would have an express power to legislate to regulate termination of pregnancy as it considers appropriate, in the same way as it legislates in every other area of policy.

"Whether the Eighth Amendment is in our Constitution, or indeed not in our Constitution, abortion is a reality for Irish women", Harris said.

Using the hashtags #repealthe8th or #savethe8th, people have welcomed or condemned the decision. It does not permit termination of pregnancy even in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality, BBC reported.

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