Ireland To Vote On Repealing Constitutional Ban On Abortion
On Monday, the Irish government formally committed to hold a historic referendum on abortion by the end of May.
Ireland currently has a near total ban on abortion, not allowing termination in cases of rape, incest, or fetal abnormalities. The referendum would amend the constitution to give Parliament power to make laws regulating abortion.
Some argue the decision to hold a referendum is indicative of the Roman Catholic Church’s waning power in Ireland. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, the country’s first openly gay or Indian head of state, said the Minister of Health is preparing legislation to allow access to abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy.
An Irish Times/MRBI poll found that 56 percent of voters would support a change in the constitution to allow government to make abortion legal, up to 12 weeks. Joining us from Ireland to discuss is Pat Leahy, political editor of the Irish Times.