Opinion

Friday 19 October 2018

Taoiseach channels his inner abortion struggle to get conservatives on board

Polls might show a two to one majority in favour of repeal, but calling a referendum on such an emotive subject remains a political minefield, writes Eoin O'Malley

Leo Varadkar suggested last Wednesday that the Cabinet might not be fully on board with the repeal the Eighth Amendment and allow for abortion unrestricted by circumstance up to 12 weeks.
Leo Varadkar suggested last Wednesday that the Cabinet might not be fully on board with the repeal the Eighth Amendment and allow for abortion unrestricted by circumstance up to 12 weeks.

The important votes in the abortion issue are lost votes. For those people who think about abortion a lot, it's a very important issue. They have strong views, and stronger expectations. Because they are convinced they are right, they expect everyone else to be on their side.

Almost no one actually moves to support a party on the issue; it motivates those voters to rule some parties out. It's for that reason that for decades politicians tried to avoid the issue, only to find some tragic case put it back on the agenda.

The X case, the C case, the D case, Miss D, Savita Halappanavar, all dragged the abortion question back on to the political agenda, against politicians' better instincts.

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