Sunday 21 January 2018

Committee in favour of repealing the Eighth

Stock photo: Tom Honan/PA Wire
Stock photo: Tom Honan/PA Wire

Shona Murray

A majority of TDs and senators on the Oireachtas Committee on Abortion will recommend repealing the Eighth Amendment.

The committee is charged with recommending to the Oireachtas the wording of the referendum on abortion due to be held next year.

A series of votes on the recommendations of the Citizens' Assembly will be taken next week. Earlier in the year, the assembly voted overwhelmingly for greater access to abortion for Irish women.

At least 12 out of the 21 members of the committee say they believe the Eighth Amendment should be changed.

Since September, the committee has been hearing expert testimony from lawyers, doctors and consultants.

A debate was held yesterday in which all members discussed their views on both the committee and the recommendations of the Citizens' Assembly.

Calling for the amendment to be repealed, Independent TD Claire Daly said: "The Constitution isn't the place to regulate medicine."

Meanwhile, the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference has appealed to members of the committee to "consider how society can best respond to the personal needs of women within a legal and constitutional framework which acknowledges the right to life of the unborn, together with the equal right to life of the mother".

In a statement following their winter meeting, the bishops said the removal of Article 40.3.3 "can have no effect other than to expose unborn children to greater risk".

Irish Independent

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