People Before Profit TD Brid Smith said she would be willing to hold off on seeking changes to the proposed law for the entirety of the next Dáil, in a bid to win over undecided voters in the upcoming abortion debate.
At the launch of People Before Profit’s referendum campaign posters, Ms Smith was repeatedly asked about pro-life voter concerns that she and other TDs would try to further liberalise the law, if the 12-week rule was introduced.
While insisting there was no reason for anyone to be fearful of such a move, as it would only be allowed if the majority of the Dáil agreed, Ms Smith said she would hold off on any law changes for five years.
“This has been put out to confuse people to vote no. If we get 12 weeks, and 24 weeks in the case of risk to life, etc, I think that would be an amazing achievement and I’d be happy to live with that for the next Dáil term,” said Ms Smith.
Her People Before Profit colleague, Richard Boyd Barrett, said while their party was in favour of further liberalisation of Ireland’s abortion laws, he “can’t see anything like that happening any time soon”, if the referendum and 12-week laws are passed.
Meanwhile, with just under four weeks until the referendum, the Labour Party will, this afternoon, officially launch its own campaign, urging people to vote yes.
Party leader, Brendan Howlin, will be joined by the master of the National Maternity Hospital, Dr Rhona Mahony, and Conor Upton, of the Terminations for Medical Reasons group.
While the first of the live TV debates on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live and Prime Time programmes will not take place until the final two weeks of the referendum campaign, the Late Late Show held a mini-debate last night, among pro-choice and pro-life members.
Meanwhile, the pro-life Love Both campaign has said a ‘no’ vote is the only way to prevent liberalisation of Irish abortion laws from mirroring what has happened in Britain in recent decades.
In a statement to mark the 50th anniversary of the enacting of the UK’s Abortion Act, 1967, Love Both spokesperson, Clare McCarthy, said “eight million babies have lost their lives” due to the law, over the past half-a-century.