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.

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.



Related Articles

LoveBoth campaign call on Minister for Health to set a date for 8th debate

Late Late Show will host first tv debate of 8th referendum

Former Master of National Maternity Hospital claims at least three women died because of the 8th amendment

Mary O’Rourke paid for two women to travel to England for abortions

More in this Section

Ulster Bank claims accounts issue ‘resolved’

Canney working out solo deal as alliance rift widens

Fine Gael to hold meeting on future coalition options

Former minister Mary O’Rourke paid for women to travel for abortions


Breaking Stories

LoveBoth campaign call on Minister for Health to set a date for 8th debate

Phil Hogan warns of spread of 'fake news' ahead of next years European Parliament elections

Aer Lingus launches search for 'pilots of tomorrow'

Chernobyl disaster cannot just be consigned to history: Adi Roche

Lifestyle

New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner