Taoiseach: I don't think a six-week-old foetus has the same right to life as my sister

Taoiseach: I don't think a six-week-old foetus has the same right to life as my sister

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has explained why he is in favour of a repeal of the Eighth Amendment saying that "abortion in Ireland is already a reality".

Mr Varadkar told Matt Cooper on Today FM's 'The Last Word' that the Eighth Amendment is not sustainable since it has only succeeded in exporting our problems and importing solutions.

Mr Varadkar said: "There's a certain hypocrisy in the current situation whereby we have in our constitution an almost absolute ban on abortion, and yet we also have the right to information about it and the right to travel abroad to end your pregnancy."

Concerning the right to life of the unborn, the Taoiseach feels the point of viability - when a baby can survive outside the womb - is "fundamentally different to a day or two after conception."

I don't think that a six-week-old foetus has the same right to life as my sister.

The Taoiseach also said the Eighth amendment has not worked in terms of preventing abortions.

Mr Varadkar says the availability of abortion pills, and women's right to travel means we "export our problems and import our solutions".

He claimed those who want to force victims of rape to give birth should vote No.

Mr Varadkar says his views on abortion have changed over time.

The Taoiseach said one element was the legal cases that arose from the 8th amendment, like the Miss Y case.

Mr Varadkar said: "An asylum seeker who had been raped, who had become pregnant in Ireland and, being an asylum seeker she wasn't in a position to leave the country, wanted to end her pregnancy.

"Attempts were made to prevent her from doing so, including court orders, even to the extent that some people were proposing that she be force fed."

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

Husband and wife missing from Portmarnock since TuesdayHusband and wife missing from Portmarnock since Tuesday

Rescue mission underway for five fishermen off coast of DonegalRescue mission underway for five fishermen off coast of Donegal

Man arrested as police investigate Belfast stabbingMan arrested as police investigate Belfast stabbing

Two arrested as rival protesters come face to face at #Rally4PeaceTwo arrested as rival protesters come face to face at #Rally4Peace


Lifestyle

Want to be cultured this Christmas? From TV to podcasts to books, Ed Power has the definite list of everything you missed this year - so you can curl up on the couch and catch upThe definite list of everything you missed this year

Artist Ciara Rodgers teaches older people how to rediscover their creativity and regain confidence, says Rowena WalshBrush with art: Discovering your creative side in later life

Furniture, paintings, jewellery and silver are on offer at James Adam in Dublin, writes Des O’SullivanAll set for home run: See what's on offer at the James Adam sale in Dublin

It’s not too late to hunt out a unique gift. Des O’Sullivan previews sales in the lead-up to the festive seasonA flurry of auctions in Munster sets the scene for Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner