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Sunday 21 October 2018

Committee says Eighth Amendment is 'unfit for purpose' as final report is published

TDs and Senators on the cross-party committee voted 14 to 6 to recommend that the amendment - which gives equal status to the life of the mother and her unborn baby - be removed from the constitution.
TDs and Senators on the cross-party committee voted 14 to 6 to recommend that the amendment - which gives equal status to the life of the mother and her unborn baby - be removed from the constitution.
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The committee on the Eighth Amendment has launched its final report and recommended the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

The committee said "the current constitutional provision prohibiting the termination of pregnancy in Ireland is unfit for purpose".

They recommended a referendum on the matter.

Chairperson of the committee, Catherine Noone, said that the issue of abortion "remains one of the most divisive issues in Irish life".

"To that end the work of the joint committee was never about one side or the other. It was about women’s health and how best to ensure swift and safe support in sensitive and difficult cases. Termination of pregnancy and indeed continuation of pregnancy is not a black or white issue. Every case is unique," she said.

“What is clear to me is that two inclusive processes - one made up of citizens, the other of politicians - have now concluded their deliberations and have both recommended a change in our constitution, some access to terminations and a greater focus on women's health and their experiences.

“What we are proposing is a major change, and it will take time for people to consider and understand how we came to these recommendations."

The report also contains a number of other recommendations including that termination of pregnancy should be lawful where the life or health of the woman is at risk and that a distinction should not be drawn between the physical and mental health of the woman.

It also recommends unrestricted access to termination up to 12 weeks and for abortion, with no gestation limit, in the cases of fatal foetal abnormality.

A minority report from three members of the committee who refused to sign off on the final report. Deputy Mattie McGrath, Senator Ronan Mullen and Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick will launch their own report later today.

More to follow...

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