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Government Approves Plans For Abortion Referendum


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The Government has confirmed plans to hold an abortion referendum this year.

At a late night press conference, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he will campaign for a repeal of the 8th amendment.

He also said he'll support legislation allowing abortion without restriction for 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

The Taoiseach said: "My own views have evolved over time - life experience does that. It was as Minister of Health that I become convinced that abortion had no place in our Constitution".

He added that people would be able to have their say on abortion for the first time since 1983.

Health Minister Simon Harris was also clear on his views, stating: "For anyone who wants any change to our present regime, it is necessary to repeal the 8th".

Tánaiste Simon Coveney, however, told Cabinet he supports repeal - but cannot support the 12 weeks provision

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone, meanwhile, said she hopes both sides will be respectful, and that the debate will be "based on the facts".

The referendum will happen in May, subject to the Oireachtas approving it in March.


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