Abortion: 'Our present law immeasurably adds to the pain'

Abortion: 'Our present law immeasurably adds to the pain'

The health minister says he hopes there's a referendum on the 8th amendment.

Simon Harris says that's the way to deal with the issue of allowing terminations in the cases of fatal foetal abnormalities.

He told the Dáil tonight that he could not accept proposed legislation from Independent TD Mick Wallace as the attorney general had ruled it was unconstitutional.

Minister Harris says he wants the constitutional convention to recommend a referendum.

"I speak here today as a member of a generation who could not vote in 1983, in fact I wasn't even born in 1983.

"My generation has never had our voice heard on this issue.

"Ireland has changed, like many people my own views on this subject have changed.

"There is an absolutely inescapable truth: Our present law immeasurably adds to the pain of those who make the difficult decision to terminate their pregnancy."

Independent Minister John Halligan has signalled he may support the legislation saying he "doesn't care" whether its constitutional.

And Sinn Féin TD Louise O'Reilly says the country can no longer afford not to deal with this issue.

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