Sunday 18 August 2019

Final Results

Repeal the Eighth Amendment?

Yes 66.40% 1,429,981

No 33.60% 723,632

  • Constituencies declared: 40/40

Referendum Hub

Varadkar targeted by No lobby over abortion pills comment

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been targeted by the No side as the abortion referendum enters its final days.

Mr Varadkar is not participating in live debates on the issue but No campaigners latched on to his interview with RTÉ's Sean O'Rourke.

The Taoiseach 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.

Love Both campaign spokeswoman Dr Ruth Cullen said the claim showed members of the Government were now "panicking and seem prepared to say anything to secure repeal".

"We must remember that only five years ago he was completely opposed to abortion on demand. Now he uses his position to throw exaggerated and insulting language at people who hold the same position he, until recently, held.

"This shows again that politicians cannot be trusted with the rights in the Eighth amendment," she said.

The Iona Institute said Mr Varadkar's statement that in the early stages of pregnancy a doctor is only treating the woman was shocking.

"This obliterates the rights of the unborn child," the pro-life organisation said.

Mr Varadkar has insisted the Government's proposal to allow terminations is not abortion "on demand".

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

The Taoiseach said the doctor would also have to confirm the pregnancy was less than 10 weeks' gestation.

Mr Varadkar said it was not intended that abortion clinics would be set up in Ireland and this was not in the legislation.

Irish Independent

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