Referendum announced for 2018 on ending Ireland’s strict abortion laws

Jun 19, 2017 by

from Humanists UK:

Ireland’s newly elected Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced that a referendum will be held in 2018 on the issue of repealing the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution, which strictly prohibits abortion in nearly all circumstances. Varadkar announced the planned referendum alongside his selection of new cabinet ministers, including ‘pro-choice’ Minister for Health Simon Harris, who will be preparing legislation to enable this referendum to be held. Humanists UK and its section Northern Ireland Humanists have welcomed the announcement, which represents a significant step towards the full realisation of women’s sexual and reproductive rights in the Republic of Ireland and will strengthen the case for equal access to abortion in Northern Ireland.

The announcement follows an increase in pressure upon the Irish Government for the law to be changed. Earlier this month, the UN Humans Rights Committee ruled that Ireland’s prohibition on abortion, which forces women to travel abroad for the procedure, violates international human rights treaties. This was the second ruling against the Irish Government by the UN Human Rights Committee on this issue since 2015.

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