Labour Party Statement on the 8th Amendment

15 December 2017

At its meeting last night, following a recommendation from the Party Leader Brendan Howlin, the Labour Party Executive Board, the party’s highest ranking body, endorsed the position adopted by its representative Jan O’Sullivan at the Oireachtas Committee on the 8th Amendment, and committed to supporting that position in the Oireachtas and when the proposal is put to the country.

This confirms the position adopted by the Parliamentary Labour Party at its meeting on Tuesday and clears the way for Labour to campaign on the issue when it is put to the people.

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin said:

“The Labour Party will support a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment, and the proposal to allow for abortion up to 12 weeks as endorsed by the Oireachtas Committee.  We have seen two intense deliberative processes, one at the Committee and the other at the Citizen’s Assembly arrive at similar positions based on the best medical evidence. 

“We believe it is now necessary to put these proposals to the country and having authored this process it is incumbent on the Government to do so with a degree of urgency to allow for a referendum in May of 2018.

“Labour will campaign in a respectful and dignified fashion, respectful of the views of others and their entitlement to hold them, and mindful that there are deeply held views on both sides of this debate.

“We believe, however, as we have always believed that the constitution is no place for legislating on this issue and that the time to remove the 8th amendment is long since past.”

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