Leo Varadkar says unrestricted abortion can be in place this year
TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar believes he can have laws allowing unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy in place before the end of the year if the forthcoming referendum passes.
Mr Varadkar said his plan to hold the referendum in May is on schedule and insisted opposing views in the Dail will not prevent legislation being enacted should the electorate vote in favour of new abortion laws.
"So I certainly think that can all be done within this calendar year, within the lifetime of this Government,” Mr Varadkar said.
Legislation for unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks will soon be published by Health Minister Simon Harris.
Voters will be asked to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution and replace with a clause that allow the Oireachtas legislate for abortion up to 12 weeks.
"Notwithstanding a few delays along the way, we are actually on track the legislation is now in the Dáil and I am confident that we can have referendum in May and that would allow us to get legislation through within a matter of months,” Mr Varadkar said.
"We have been working away on that legislation, the policy paper is already done will be able to publish a draft scheme of general scheme of the legislation, we plan to do that by the end of March and if there is a yes vote i the referendum we would then have a couple of months to get that legislation through,” he added.