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Ministers Set To Agree To Hold Referendum On Abortion


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The Cabinet is expected to formally agree to hold a referendum on abortion at a special meeting this evening.

Ministers will need to give the Health Minister Simon Harris permission to draft a referendum bill, as well as the provisional legislation on what abortion laws would take effect if the 8th amendment was repealed.

They are also due to hear legal advice from the Attorney General on what the referendum question should be.

The Government is thought to favour a 'repeal and replace' approach.

If approved by the public, that approach would see the 8th amendment repealed and a clause inserted into the Constitution allowing the Oireachtas to legislate for abortion.

It is believed that would make any legal challenges to new abortion laws more difficult.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed over the weekend that he believes the current situation to be too restrictive, and stated he will campaign to liberalise Ireland's abortion laws.

He has indicated that he will make his personal views fully clear after this evening's meeting.

A number of ministers have yet to reveal their position on the issue.

Political party leaders, TDs and Senators have all been outlining their stance on the issue over recent weeks, following the publication of the Oireachtas Committee report on the 8th amendment last month.


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