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."

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