Laois Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming
Laois Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming has refused to state his stance on the abortion referendum over the 8th Amendment.
However he has today confirmed to the Leinster Express that he has "a big problem" with the proposal by the Oireachtas committee to allow abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
That proposal will next be brought to the Dáil when a final wording will be hammered out for the upcoming referendum, and for the replaced wording in the constitution.
"I will wait and see what the government is proposing. The oireachtas committee has made its proposal, for abortion up to 12 weeks. I've a big problem with that. It depends on what the government proposes to bring to the Dáil, only then we will know exactly. If they change it we will see, but I don't know if they will change it," he said.
He believes all parties should let members have a "conscience vote".
"Fianna Fáil has been the first party to allow a conscience vote, I hope other parties follow suit," he said.
Asked what his constituents in Laois are saying to him, he said "I am getting lots of emails on both sides of the argument, they would be mailing all three Laois TDs".
On whether he wants the 8th Amendment to remain as it is, he would not commit.
"There is no point me even saying that. The people will decide that. Sean Fleming is only one in a million. The referendum is months away yet," Dep Fleming said.
The other two Laois TDS, Fine Gael Minister Charlie Flanagan and Sinn Féin's Brian Stanley, are in favour of repealing the 8th.
Minister Flanagan has said "I don't believe this is an issue that should be in our constitution."
A meeting is being held in Portlaoise this week by a new Laois group supporting a repeal.