Monday 21 May 2018

Varadkar: 'It's only a matter of time before a woman dies after taking abortion pills'

Voting 'Yes' doesn't mean that you're endorsing abortion or think it's a good thing - Taoiseach

Ireland abortion laws
Ireland abortion laws
Protesters hold up placards as they take part in the March for Choice, calling for the legalising of abortion in Ireland after the referendum announcement, in Dublin. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has insisted that the government's proposed to allow terminations is not abortion "on demand".

He said no women will be able to go into a pharmacy and "bang on the table and demand abortion pills" and that he doesn't believe women would do that anyway.

Protesters hold up placards as they take part in the March for Choice, calling for the legalising of abortion in Ireland after the referendum announcement, in Dublin. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Protesters hold up placards as they take part in the March for Choice, calling for the legalising of abortion in Ireland after the referendum announcement, in Dublin. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

And he warned, that under the current law, "it's only a matter of time" before a woman bleeds to death from using abortion pills ordered over the internet and taken without medical supervision. 

Mr Varadkar was responding to claims by the 'No' campaign that the government plan to bring in unrestricted abortion on demand up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy if the Eighth Amendment is repealed.

The law was proposed due to the difficulty of legislating for cases of rape and incest.

Mr Varadkar told RTÉ Radio's Today with Seán O'Rourke: "It won't be unrestricted and it wouldn't be on demand".

He said that women with crisis pregnancies would be offered alternatives to abortion by doctors and there would be a 72-hour waiting period.

He said the doctor will also have to confirm that the pregnancy is less than ten weeks gestation.

Mr Varadkar also said it's not the intention that abortion clinics would be set up in Ireland and that this is not in the legislation.

He said that surgical terminations would take place in licenced institutions or hospitals.

He added: "The view that I would take is that this really is a personal and private matter. Voting 'Yes' doesn't mean that you're endorsing abortion or think it's a good thing."

Mr Varadkar said it is only a matter of time before a woman dies in Ireland due to using abortion pills bought over the internet.

Mr Varadkar said women are buying abortion pills online and some of them are using them unsafely.

"It's only a matter of time before somebody loses their life as a result of taking one of those pills over the internet. It has happened in other countries," the Taoiseach said.

He asked people to bear that in mind when they vote.

"Let's not wait for this to happen and if there is a no vote on Friday I think it's only a matter of time before somebody haemorrhages or bleeds to death or dies as a result of using these pills unregulated," Mr Varadkar said.

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