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Tuesday 19 March 2019

Watch: 'The status quo is simply not okay' - Simon Coveney campaigns for 'Yes' vote ahead of referendum

Kyle Ewald and Saskia Vermuelen

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said it is his job to “convince as many people to vote yes as possible in the next two weeks” while campaigning for the upcoming referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment.

Mr Coveney told that it was important to give out “literature that’s based on the truth and the realities that we face in Ireland today".

“For me, this has been a process of speaking to many, many people from doctors to women who have found themselves in impossible situations to help me confirm in my own mind the need for us to change the constitution in this area,” Mr Coveney said.

The Tánaiste added that he is “absolutely convinced” that the constitution must be changed in order to ensure that the health system is comprehensively protecting women in the area of complex and crisis pregnancies.

“The status quo is simply not okay, to ask thousands of women, or to force thousands of women to leave Ireland to get essential medical treatment because we can’t or won’t do it here any longer.”

Mr Coveney said if the May 25 referendum does pass, the legislation introduced will not be “ultra-liberal”.

“Believe me, we are not going to be introducing legislation that is ultra-liberal here, we are going to be introducing legislation that prioritises the health care and lives of women in crisis pregnancy, while at the same time also protecting the unborn.

“But I think we have to prioritise women’s healthcare first and foremost.”

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