Cabinet bids to reach abortion decision

Cabinet bids to reach abortion decision

The Cabinet next week will try to reach a collective decision on whether or not abortion should be allowed unrestricted up to 12 weeks for pregnancies, writes Juno McEnroe.

While a number of ministers have yet to declare their position on the recommendations to liberalise the abortion laws, some Cabinet members believe a majority will support changes.

Next Tuesday’s meeting is expected to pick up the discussion and debate among ministers on the abortion recommendations. There is a strong expectation that, in the days following the meeting, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will take a position on the report’s recommendations. But he may not make it know publicly for a week or two, government sources say.

At least seven Cabinet members have publicly said they support repeal of the Eighth Amendment. Some have said they favour allowing unrestricted abortions in line with committee recommendations — up to 12 weeks.

A Cabinet source said: “It’s [the meeting] about trying to get a collective decision. The majority [of ministers] will support the committee.”

However, Mr Varadkar has said there are concerns about the extent of the Oireachtas committee recommendations which went further than many people and politicians expected.

Three options were laid out to the Cabinet last week over its response to the report recommendations and plans for a referendum later this year. They included “doing nothing”, agreeing to the recommendations, or offer their own solution on addressing concerns about the Eighth Amendment.

Many ministers and TDs are nervous about publicly expressing an opinion, or stating, their position on the issues. It is unclear if any further options have been considered by the Department of Health or the Taoiseach, beyond the recommendations made by the Oireachtas committee.

A Government spokeswoman said it was “unlikely” other options would be considered and did not dismiss a suggestion that the 12-week rule was the “only show in town”.

Other parties are also expected to have their own meetings and discussion on the report and referendum, when the Dáil resumes next week, including Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, and Labour.

This story originally appeared in the Irish Examiner.

More on this topic

'Together for Yes' celebrate anniversary of abortion referendum with Dublin event'Together for Yes' celebrate anniversary of abortion referendum with Dublin event

Together for Yes campaigners 'overcome and thrilled' at inclusion on TIME 100 listTogether for Yes campaigners 'overcome and thrilled' at inclusion on TIME 100 list

#RepealThe8th tops trending topics on Twitter in 2018#RepealThe8th tops trending topics on Twitter in 2018

Abortion: Wait rather than risk a tragedyAbortion: Wait rather than risk a tragedy


More in this Section

Nearly 500 gardaí have faced disciplinary action in less than three yearsNearly 500 gardaí have faced disciplinary action in less than three years

Support for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil down in latest pollSupport for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil down in latest poll

The Lotto results are in...The Lotto results are in...

McDonald promises referendum on united Ireland within five years if Sinn Féin enter powerMcDonald promises referendum on united Ireland within five years if Sinn Féin enter power


Lifestyle

Kate Tempest’s Vicar Street show began with the mother of all selfie moments. The 33 year-old poet and rapper disapproves of mid-concert photography and instructed the audience to get their snap-happy impulses out of the way at the outset. What was to follow would, she promised, be intense. We should give ourselves to the here and now and leave our phones in our pockets.Kate Tempest dives deep and dark in Dublin gig

Des O'Sullivan examines the lots up for auction in Bray.A Week in Antiques: Dirty tricks and past political campaigns

Following South Africa’s deserved Rugby World Cup victory I felt it was about time that I featured some of their wines.Wine with Leslie Williams

All your food news.The Menu: Food news with Joe McNamee

More From The Irish Examiner