Ireland's Government approves abortion referendum wording

Image graph Sasko Lazarov

Ministers formally approved the referendum bill at a Cabinet meeting at Government Buildings in Dublin.

It will also propose that medical practitioners who are opposed to abortion should be allowed to cite a conscientious objection as provided for in existing legislation.

Minister Harris said this regime would "represent a quantum leap from our position" today where we have one of the most restrictive regimes - similar to Saudi Arabia. Today, Mr Harris stated it will be hard to meet the May deadline.

The government of Ireland announced Thursday it will hold a referendum in May asking voters to repeal the Eighth Amendment, bringing the country one step closer to legalizing abortion.

After 12 weeks, two medical professionals will likely be asked to determine the risk to a woman's life, health or mental health before a termination can be provided.

"I think what the Supreme Court did was it showed how lucky we are to have the Eighth Amendment".

Mr Harris said this brief period of time would allow women to consider of all of the options before making an informed decision.

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"It's about trusting women to decide, in the early weeks of their pregnancy, what's right for them and their families", Varadkar said. "It is clear beyond any doubt from today's announcement from Government that a vote for repeal is a vote for abortion on demand up to birth", she added.

The proposal is the Thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution Bill to the House.

It comes after Ireland's Supreme Court ruled that state protections for unborn babies do not extend beyond the right to life.

Mr McGrath added that the opposition of Global Positioning System would make post-referendum situation unworkable if the referendum was passed.

"This is a historic and momentous day for Ireland, and for the women of Ireland, in particular", said Ailbhe Smyth, convenor of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment.

"Instead of doctors and midwives providing the best of maternal care to women, instead what we have had is decisions about women's care moving to the hands of lawyers and courts". It will explain the subject matter to the public, create awareness of the referendum and encourage citizens to vote.

The debate is due on continue today until 4pm.

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