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Supreme Court Rules Unborn Don't Have Rights Outside 8th Amendment


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The Supreme Court has overturned a High Court ruling that the unborn have rights in the constitution outside the 8th amendment.

The unanimous verdict from the 7 judges said the rights of the unborn in the constitution are confined to the right to life alone.

This means the government can proceed with trying to call a referendum on the 8th amendment.

The Health Minister, Simon Harris, said he "intends to bring a memo to Cabinet with the final wording of the Referendum Bill shortly."

"This Bill will contain the wording to be put to the people in a referendum at the end of May. I look forward to the people having their say on this very important issue."

The Justice Minister, Charlie Flanagan, welcomed the "clarity that this Supreme Court judgement provides regarding the status of the unborn within the constitution."

What happens next?

Now this ruling is out of the way the government can proceed with trying to call a referendum on the 8th amendment.

It's likely a special cabinet meeting will be called tomorrow to approve the referendum bill, which outlines what question people will be asked in a vote.

That then needs to be approved by the Dáil and Seanad before the date of the referendum will be known.

The Taoiseach wants the Dáil to sit on Friday to start debating the bill.

If it doesn't then a May referendum will be hard to bring around, because the Dáil doesn't sit next week and is off for a further two weeks over Easter.


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