The Citizen’s Assembly has published its final report on abortion, which saw an overwhelming majority say that the amendment – guaranteeing the equal right to life of the mother and unborn child – should be repealed.
In April we found out that 87% of members thought Article 40.3.3° should not be retained in full, while 56% felt it should be replaced or amended. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he expects a referendum to be held next year, while today we learned that public meetings will be held from September on options for repealing the 8th amendment.
The Assembly met for five weekends to discuss the Eighth Amendment, and its report will now be sent to a Leinster House Committee which will bring its conclusions to the Dail and Seanad for debate. Chair of the Assembly Ms. Justice Mary Laffoy said "Put simply, most of the members voted that they wanted to remove Article 40.3.3° from the Constitution".
"In other words, it would be solely a matter for the Oireachtas to decide how to legislate on these issues", she explained.
The group also made what it calls five "ancillary" recommendations, which include improving sex education in primary and secondary schools, as well as in colleges, youth clubs and other organisations. It has suggested improving access to reproductive healthcare services, access to the same standard of obstetrical care, and improvements to counselling and support facilities across the country.
The assembly also stated that further consideration should be given as to who will fund and carry out termination of pregnancy in Ireland.