Citizens Assembly to decide on abortion law ballot

The Citizens Assembly will meet this weekend for the final time to discuss the Eight Amendment of the Constitution.

The 95 members of the assembly, who have been meeting since last October, will vote today on their recommendations on whether to retain, repeal or reform the current legislation on abortion.

The programme for this weekend will focus on reaching recommendations to be included in a ballot that will be put to members of the Citizens Assembly.

They will focus on the precise wording on such ballot and voting on it.

The Assembly has heard over four weekends on the topic of the Eight Amendment, where experts from both sides of the abortion issue have been sharing their opinions on the current legislation.

Voting in any ballot set to take place today will be in secret and the counting of the papers will be overseen by John Fitzpatrick, the former Returning Officer for Co Dublin and his team.

It is intended that the results of the ballot will be announced as soon as the votes have been counted and verified and this announcement will be done by the chair in the public session.

Following this weekends vote, a report will be prepared by the chairperson of the Citizens Assembly for the Oireachtas, which is due to be published by the end of June this year at the latest.

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