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Ministers Set To Formally Agree To Hold 8th Amendment Referendum

Ministers Set To Formally Agree To Hold 8th Amendment Referendum

Ministers Set To Formally Agree To Hold 8th Amendment Referendum

Mr O'Donovan said the current state of the law was "not tolerable", but he warned a vote to repeal could have "unintended consequences".

Terminations are now only allowed in the Republic of Ireland when the life of the mother is at risk.

"I believe Ireland's abortion laws are too restrictive and need to be liberalized", Varadkar said in an interview with BBC radio on Saturday.

Patrick O'Donovan said he will not support the repeal of the Eighth Amendment in this summer's anticipated referendum.

Varadkar is expected to repeat that position at the cabinet meeting, which will be attended by both his Fine Gael ministerial colleagues and ministers from a bloc of independent MPs whose votes shore up the ruling minority coalition.

Speaking in Dublin tonight, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: "We know that thousands of Irish women - from every county in Ireland - go overseas for abortions every year".

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In 2017, an all-party Oireachtas committee recommended that the Constitution be modified to allow terminations without restriction for up to 12 weeks. The public will not vote on the specifics of how the law will change.

When asked directly if he will campaign in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment and to change Ireland's existing laws regarding abortion, the Taoiseach responded by saying "I'll be campaigning for them to be changed and to be liberalised, yes".

In a pastoral letter to churches on Sunday the bishop of Elphin, Dr Kevin Doran, claimed that abolition of the eighth and introduction of abortion in Irish hospitals would pave the way for euthanasia in Ireland.

Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has agreed to work on legislation for unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks should the referendum pass.

A referendum on the issue is expected in late May or early June. "As Minister for Health I became convinced abortion had no place in the Constitution".

Both main parties remain divided, however, with many MPs taking different positions on the issue.

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