Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath describes removal of 8th Amendment as ’a step too far’

Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath describes removal of 8th Amendment as ’a step too far’
Michael McGrath

Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesperson Michael McGrath says he would not be able to support the removal of the 8th Amendment with access to abortion up to 12 weeks, describing it as ’a step too far.’

Michael McGrath told told Richard Curran on Today with Sean O’Rourke that it was inevitable that there would be a referendum and that he would favour replacing, rather than repealing, the amendment.

He said that he "hasn’t slept very well" over the last couple of nights, while he thought over the issue and called for a respectful debate over the next few months.

"I think it is inevitable now that there will be a referendum and I support the holding a referendum," he said.

"But if the referendum is asking the question that there should be a straight forward repeal of the 8th Amendment with the intention of replacing with legislation providing for unrestricted access to abortion up to twelve weeks, then that is not something that I can personally support.

"I think it is a step too far."

He said that he agreed with much of party leader, Michael Martin’s, sentiments. However, he added, he did not agree with the conclusion Mr Martin reached.

He said that Mr Martin did not discuss his views with the parliamentary party but that he did not have to, nor should he have, adding that he had not consulted with Mr Martin on his views.

He said people should not have to leave a political party because they hold a different view on the right to life.

Speaking afterwards, Minister for Education Richard Bruton told RTÉ Radio 1 that he is with the Taoiseach, that he will wait before sharing his position.

"In waiting until we have discussed at Cabinet and we’ve heard all the opinion, and the opinion of the Attorney General," he said.

"I want to hear the views of the Attorney General, I want to make a collective decision that puts to the people a robust proposal that we can stand over and I want to take the time to hear those opinions."

- Digital Desk

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