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56% of Irish Voters Want Change, PM Greenlights Abortion Referendum

56% of Irish Voters Want Change, PM Greenlights Abortion Referendum

The referendum will ask the Irish public whether they wish to repeal the Eighth Amendment and allow the Oireachtas - Ireland's legislature - to replace it with a more liberal abortion law.

He said: "In my opinion we can not continue to export our problems and import our solutions", Mr Varadkar said.

The amendment reads, in part, "The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right". The amendment was passed by a referendum vote in 1983, when almost 67 percent of Irish voters approved it.

The exact date will be known following the conclusion of a debate and vote in the Dail and the Seanad, however Mr Varadkar said he was "confident that this timeline could be met".

He said: "I don't believe the constitution is the place for making absolute statements about medical, moral and legal issues, an issue which is not black and white and can never be explained in black and white".

"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.

Colm O'Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: "We are heartened at today's government backing for legislation framed around a 12-week "on request" model for abortion access, with later gestational limits in specific circumstances".

"And it's a matter for people to make their own decision, based on the evidence they hear, compassion and empathy".

If Article 40.3.3 was repealed outright, it might subsequently be argued before the courts that the unborn have residual rights arising under other Articles of the Constitution, stated the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. "These journeys don't have to happen", Varadkar added.

Mr Breen said his decision is influenced by his personal experience of losing a baby that was born at 20 weeks. Women and girls in Ireland deserve their dignity.

She said that the government has "brought forward a proposal that for the first time in our history would withdraw basic human rights from a group of vulnerable defenceless individuals instead of strengthening their constitutional protections".

Speaking at a news conference after a special cabinet meeting on the issue, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar also confirmed that the minister of health is preparing legislation to allow unrestricted access to abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy, and later in cases of rape, incest or fatal abnormality. The committee has called for terminations to be allowed without restriction up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.


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