25 October 2016

The Government has done a complete reversal on its own position in the Programme for Government through a move to block a Dáil vote on a Bill to repeal the eighth amendment, says Labour Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Jan O’Sullivan.

“The drafting of the programme clearly set outs the ‘right and ability of any member of Dáil Éireann to have a referendum on any issue, provided that member can secure majority support in parliament’. The Government should allow for a second stage debate tonight, and allow TDs to decide whether a majority support this legislation or not.

“The Labour Party, which has long argued that removing politicians from the Citizens Assembly is a mistake, will support the Bill, so the people of Ireland can have their say- some for the first time- on the eighth amendment.

“A large number of both Fine Gael TDs and members of the Cabinet campaigned in the election to repeal the 8th. Attitudes and opinions have changed since 1983 and it’s wrong that no woman of child-bearing age has had the chance to vote on these laws.

“Fine Gael are wrong to oppose this legislation, and to kick the can down the road on another important issue. But their flagrant disregard for their own programme for Government is more of a surprise than their reluctance to deal with a difficult issue.”

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