Government Approves Abortion Referendum Plan


The Cabinet has formally agreed to hold a referendum on the Eighth Amendment.


Speaking at a press conference following the special Cabinet meeting, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the abortion legislation, if the referendum is passed, will be in line with the recommendations of Oireachtas Committee, which proposed that abortions should be allowed unrestricted up to 12 weeks.


The government‘s preference is for the referendum to take place in late May, but this will be dependent on the passage of the bill to hold a referendum through the Oireachtas.


Ministers also agreed that voters should be asked whether or not to replace the Eighth Amendment with new wording to be put into the Constitution, rather than simply deleting it. This decision was made following legal advice from the Attorney General.


Minister for Health Simon Harris was given permission to draft a Bill that will be introduced in the Oireachtas if the referendum is passed. Several ministers, including Tánaiste Simon Coveney, raised concerns about this at the meeting.

RTÉ. January 30.

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