Friday 6 December 2019

Tanaiste: No abortion referendum to be held in lifetime of this government

Tanaiste Joan Burton
Tanaiste Joan Burton
John Downing

John Downing

TANAISTE Joan Burton has ruled out an abortion referendum being held in the lifetime of this Government.

Ms Burton was responding to an impassioned plea from Independent TD Catherine Murphy who said many women were suffering needlessly because the law on termination of pregnancy on medical grounds was too restrictive.

Deputy Murphy said the referendum to safeguard the right to life of the unborn child was voted in 1983 and the country had changed a lot in the 31 years since then.

"Tanaiste we need a referendum to change this," Ms Murphy told the Dail.

The Tanaiste said both she and her party had urged rejection of the abortion amendment in 1983.

But she said as democrats everyone must accept the will of the people.

Ms Burton also said she accepted Deputy Murphy's arguments about the tragic medical cases involving pregnant women.

She said the Government had legislated and dealt with the consequences of the X-Case ruling and this was the limit of what was agreed in the Programme for Government

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