Ireland to hold referendum next year on strict abortion laws

Ireland to hold referendum next year on strict abortion laws

Ireland’s government on Tuesday announced plans to hold a referendum [press release] next year regarding its strict abortion laws.

Citizens are urging the government to amend the Eighth Amendment [materials] of the Constitution, which dictates that an unborn child and mother have an equal right to life. Citizens’ Assembly, a panel composed of citizens, prepared a report that will be considered by the Joint Oirachtas Committee, which may propose a bill to amend.

According to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Any amendment to our Constitution requires careful consideration by the people. They should be given ample time to consider the issues and to take part in well-informed public debate. Setting a timetable for the referendums to be held over the next two years will allow all involved in campaigning on the issues to plan ahead and to facilitate that public debate.

The referendum will likely be held in May or June of 2018.

In 2013 citizen protests resulted in mothers’ right to terminate pregnancy [JURIST report] if their life was in danger. In July of last year the Irish Parliament [official website] defeated a bill [JURIST report] that would have allowed abortion.