Ireland Sept 28, 2017 2:42:07 GMT
Post by hebrews1135 on Sept 28, 2017 2:42:07 GMT
Ireland to hold referendum on abortion in 2018
9/26/17 The Irish government announced a referendum on the country's abortion laws, some of Europe's most restrictive, will be held next year. In a statement, the Irish government said the referendum would be held in May or June 2018, just months before Pope Francis is due to visit the Catholic-majority country.
Ireland's abortion laws are drawn from the 8th amendment to the country's constitution, which places the right to life of an unborn child on equal footing with the right to life of the mother.
Ireland's Prime Minister, or Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, who came to power in June, pledged to hold a referendum following the non-binding recommendations of a Citizen's Assembly. The group heard harrowing testimony from scores of Irish women and received more than 13,000 individual submissions.
In Tuesday's statement, Varadkar said the Citizen's Assembly report was "currently being considered" by a parliamentary committee. The precise timetable for the referendum would be defined in legislation that would be brought forward.
"A Bill to amend the Constitution will be prepared in light of the committee's report, and subject to its passage by the Houses of the Oireachtas (Parliament), a referendum will be held in May or June of 2018."
Varadkar has generally expressed conservative views on abortion, although he has suggested the 8th amendment is too restrictive.
"Any amendment to our Constitution requires careful consideration by the people," he said Tuesday. "They should be given ample time to consider the issues and to take part in well-informed public debate."