Laois TD and Minster Charlie Flanagan backs repeal of abortion restricting Eight Amendment

Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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abortion repeal the eight

Minister for Justice & Equality, Charles Flanagan TD.

Laois TD and Minister for Justice has has indicated that he backs the campaign to for a change to the Eight Amendment to constitution in relation to abortion.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a Dáil debate on the issue in the coming week, the Fine Gael TD said he wanted to hear views but felt change should take place.

"I don't believe this is an issue that should be in our constitution," he said.

He said he acknowledged that this has been an very challenging and sensitive issue over the past 35 years.

He looked forward to listening to the views of all sides but this must be based on facts. 

"I believe we must have this debate carried out in an atmosphere of calm. It is going to be very difficult to achieve consensus," he said.

However, he said women's health is key.

"It is primarily a women's health issue," he said.

He said he hoped the Dáil and Seanad could move matters forward.

The TD did not say what type of change he favoured or to what extent he believed abortion should be made available if the Eight Amendment to the constitution is changed.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said last week that there are concerns over the availability of abortion to women in Ireland up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.