The Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) has said they are supporting the Government’s proposals for the Eighth Amendment referendum.
The repeal and enable proposal announced by the Cabinet tonight is ‘a clear pathway to ensuring realistic abortion access’, the Abortion Rights Campaign has said.
Following Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s announcement of the unanimous cabinet approval for a referendum which will ask voters if they want to retain Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution, or repeal the amendment and enable the Dail to legislate on replacement wording.
Mr Varadkar’s outline of the draft referendum wording was that ‘Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancies’, while no mention was made to an outright ‘repeal simpliciter’.
Abortion Rights Campaign spokesperson Linda Kavanagh said: “While ARC has always campaigned for repeal simpliciter as advised by the Joint Oireachtas Committee, it appears that the enabling provision proposed by the Government will remove the constitutional barrier to abortion care and allow for more progressive and compassionate healthcare to be provided for all those who can get pregnant.”
“We would still prefer if abortion care was not singled out in our Constitution, but we are willing to support this provision, if worded properly, and heed the legal advice given by the Attorney General.”
“However we will be watching the Government very closely and encouraging our members and supporters to do the same in the weeks ahead with regards to the wording of a referendum bill and the proposed legislation.
“Generations of people have fought too long and too hard for change in our abortion laws, and we will not accept any fudges or half-measures. Modern, accessible and compassionate abortion care must be a guaranteed outcome of the referendum passing – that is non-negotiable.”
“We are looking forward to an energetic, compassionate, and respectful referendum campaign. We are repealing the 8th Amendment because we want an Ireland where everyone has access to compassionate, timely, local healthcare.”