Tuesday 17 September 2019

Final Results

Repeal the Eighth Amendment?

Yes 66.40% 1,429,981

No 33.60% 723,632

  • Constituencies declared: 40/40

Referendum Hub

'I listened to the women in my life' - Taoiseach on why he changed views on Eighth Amendment

Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it was "life experience" that changed his mind about the Eighth Amendment.

The former Health Minister said that he believes the Eighth Amendment is currently "too restrictive" since 2014.

"I can't pinpoint a moment. I can't say there was a particular day, or a particular day in which my views crystallized.

"I think it's an element of life experience. Things that may seem black and white when you're a young man in your twenties don't seem so black and white as you get on with life and understand more about the different experiences that people have."

Varadkar admitted that during his time as Health Minister he became more aware of the difficult circumstances surrounding abortion in Ireland.

When asked why he changed his mind to support women without medical complications seeking a termination, the Taoiseach said it was from "listening to people".

"Listening to the women in my life, my sisters and my mum (all of whom are voting Yes), listening to my friends, listening to party colleagues as well. 

"And I suppose what I came around to view of it is that every crisis pregnancy is a hard case."

Varadkar said that the new proposed legislation for the first trimester of a pregnancy will "say that we trust [a woman] to make the right decision- the right decision for her and also her family". 

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