Repealing Eighth ‘may not be enough to guarantee abortion without restriction’

Update 4.51pm: The Taoiseach says repealing the Eighth Amendment might not be enough to guarantee abortion without restriction. 

The Attorney General has advised the government other parts of the constitution may protect the right to life of the unborn. 

The government is looking at inserting another line into the constitution to allow the Oireachtas to legislate on abortion. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says they're waiting for advice before they can move forward on the issue.

“That's something we’re awaiting advice from the Attorney General about,” said Mr Vardkar.

“We would find ourselves in a very strange situation if we repealed the Eighth Amendment only to find out there are other rights to life that exist in other parts of the constitution that might then make any legislation we pass unconstitutional.” 

Original story (3.17pm): Billy Kelleher: Abortion referendum process being undermined by Taoiseach

The process of setting up an abortion referendum is being undermined by the Taoiseach, according to Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson. 

Billy Kelleher says Leo Varadkar needs to show leadership by declaring his position on repealing the Eighth Amendment.

That’s despite the fact Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin also hasn’t given his view. 

      

Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson Billy Kelleher took issue with Leo Varadkar’s delay in expressing his view. 

“Micheal Martin said he would be making his views known on this but I think what we have to accept is that in this debate there will be many views.

“But in the context of the process of how we get to a situation of having a referendum, the wording of the referendum and what will flow from that, there has to be clarity around that particular issue.

“From that perspective, I think we do need that clarity very quickly. Otherwise, it undermines the process to date.”

Digital desk

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