Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Referendum on eighth amendment set to go ahead following court ruling

Images of International Women’s Day

 VIEW NOW Images of International Women’s Day VIEW NOW
Tamara Craig | 11 March, 2018, 03:04

Health minister Simon Harris said if people vote no on the issue, it will be impossible for the government to address issues around female healthcare in Ireland.

It's very appropriate and fitting that on this day the Irish Government has taken a decision that we will have a referendum to repeal the eighth amendment and that we will have finalised the wording for that referendum.

"We will not be able to address issues in relation to women who have had fatal fetal abnormalities in their pregnancy, in relation to women and girls who have been raped and abused in this country, to the fact that our daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, work colleagues could be using the abortion pill without medical supervision", Harris said.

If the Eighth Amendment is repealed, women will be able to have an abortion up to 12 weeks into their pregnancy regulated through a GP-led service.

The Cabinet has approved the bill that will allow for a referendum on the Eight Amendment to be held this May.

Citizens will be asked whether they want to remove the Eighth Amendment, which gives equal right to life to the mother and the unborn, and replace it with wording that would allow politicians to set Ireland's abortion laws in the future. "Retaining the Eighth Amendment will not prevent it from happening".

San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors Free Preview 03/08/18
Warriors second-year guard Patrick McCaw will continue to wear a light brace on his injured left wrist for at least another week. Australian Patty Mills contributed just eight points and two rebounds for the Spurs, who next face Oklahoma City.

Mr Harris said he was looking into introducing a system of free contraception in an effort to reduce pregnancies.

Minister Harris said this regime would "represent a quantum leap from our position" today where we have one of the most restrictive regimes - similar to Saudi Arabia.

In line with the parliamentary committee's recommendation, the bill proposes to permit termination up to 12 weeks of pregnancy without specific indication.

Providing access to medical abortion on request in early pregnancy, and in later pregnancy in additional circumstances, is the minimum needed to respect and fulfil women's human rights.

"This referendum is about asking our citizens to allow women to make major decisions for themselves".

Explaining the ruling, barrister Paul Anthony McDermott told RTÉ's Morning Ireland: "What the Supreme Court has said in a nutshell is that other than the right to life, all your constitutional rights start at birth".

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