Irish TD Opinions on the Abortion Referendum

“I am very, very disturbed and I believe I speak on behalf of tens of thousands of women across this country, that there is an attempt here to drag out the debate so that we can drag out the presentation of legislation before the house so that we can then drag out the inevitability of a referendum on the Eighth Amendment.”

– Bríd Smith, People before Profit


Labour TD Alan Kelly believes in Irish people, the equality of both sexes and in trusting women.
Mr Kelly said the repeal approach was the right one and the decision to allow for terminations up to 12 weeks through a GP-led service is the correct one.


Leo Varadkar asks ireland to “bring about a change…that we will trust women, and doctors”



Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen states that it is clear to him that repealing the amendment is essential to provide adequate health-care for women and essential for doctors to do their duties as they see fit.

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey states that the Irish people had covered their ears, closed their eyes and shut mouths regarding women travelling for terminations.
She said she did not come to her decision easily, adding that she is “very uncomfortable with abortion”.

However, she said she had a duty of care to women and their families to make sure they feel their country is there for them at their time of need.”For that reason I support the committee’s recommendations and repeal”, she said.


Dr Michael Harty of the Rural Independent Group (independent TD, County Claire) expressed his support for a referendum, saying there was a necessity for constitutional change.

“The present prohibition on abortion is ineffective and ignores what is continuing in Irish society today”, he said.


Health Minister Simon Harris is in support of abortion up to 12 weeks. Harris will be in charge of drafting the legislation regarding abortion laws in the event the Eighth Amendment is repealed.


After seeing the unfortunate passing of Savita Halappanavar, and speaking to parents who had to continue unviable pregnancies, Harris was moved to support repeal. “I love being Irish, I love living in this country, and I love representing this country as a member of the Government, and – yet here was a situation where I was really ashamed at how these people were treated.”
“Abortions are a reality, whether we like it or not, for thousands of women. Not only is Irish women going abroad a reality, but now you have women here using the abortion pull. As their Health Minister surely I should be concerned that they are taking a pill in a non-regulated fashion. In that sense, I’m clear in my thinking of it.”

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