Harris to draft repeal legislation: ‘Abortion is a reality for women’


Minister for Health Simon Harris will draft legislation for the referendum to repeal the 8th amendment. 

The legislation will include provision for abortion without restriction up to 12 weeks, as per the recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee

He intends to have a draft published by late March. 

'Whether the Eighth Amendment is in our Constitution, or indeed not in our Constitution, abortion is a reality for Irish women,' he said, speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland.

'I cannot close my eyes and block my ears to the fact that 3,265 of our citizens travelled to the UK in 2016 from every county in Ireland.'

'I cannot stand over a situation where the abortion pill is illegally accessed in this country and women, perhaps in the privacy of their own bedroom, in a lonely isolated place, [are] taking a pill without any medical supervision.'

He did not provide the date of the intended referendum. 

However, after a special Cabinet meeting last night, it was announced that a referendum on the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution will be held in late May or early June.