Ireland’s opposition leader now in favour of legalising abortion

STR

Ex Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin, the newly elected leader of the Irish Fianna Fail Party, addresses a press conference, in Dublin, Ireland, on 26 January 2011. Reports state that Micheal Martin was voted into office after a secret ballot earlier on 26 January 2011, after Prime Minister Brian Cowen resigned his party post amid the current political and economic crisis affecting the country.

Micheál Martin said he will back the repeal of the Irish constitution’s eighth amendment, which prohibits abortion.


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
+

Ireland’s opposition leader Micheál Martin stunned conservative sections of his Fianna Fáil party by reversing his position on legalising abortion in the traditionally conservative, deeply Catholic country.

Martin will now back a repeal of the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution that bans abortion, The proposed landmark amendment will be put to a referendum in May.

“There were two things that changed my mind on the issue. The first was hearing evidence before Christmas from women who suffered from fatal fetal abnormalities while pregnant,” he told the Guardian in an interview on Sunday.

Martin also said he had a change of heart after hearing stories of women who became pregnant as a result of being victims of rape and incest.

“After hearing their experiences in the Oireachtas (Irish parliament) and what they had to go through travelling to England for terminations, I realised I could no longer countenance supporting the status quo,” he added.

In January, Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar backed a repeal of the amendment. In the event of a ‘Yes” vote, legislation is expected to be drafted by Health Minister Simon Harris that would legalise abortions under all circumstances through the first trimester of a pregnancy.

 

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
+