Heather Humphreys: I will support repeal of the 8th amendment

She said it presents "a huge difficulty" for medical professionals

Heather Humphreys: I will support repeal of the 8th amendment

Heather Humphreys. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Business and Enterprise Minister Heather Humphreys has said she is supporting a repeal of the 8th amendment.

The TD for Cavan-Monaghan said the 8th amendment does not function "for either side of the argument".

Minister Humphreys said that while she does support repeal, she still has to be convinced on abortion without restriction up to 12 weeks.

She outlined her position to Northern Sound.

"I have decided that I will support the repeal of the 8th amendment.

"I believe that the 8th amendment, as it stands, does not function for either side of the argument.

"We have seen that there's a huge difficulty for medical professionals as a result of the 8th amendment".

"The 8th amendment has created situations where doctors cannot deal with such awfully difficult cases because they're afraid of being prosecuted, and it had to be decided by the court".

A number of TDs and party leaders have declared their intentions in the 8th amendment debate.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he will campaign for a Yes vote, as will Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin.

The Tánaiste Simon Coveney says while he is in favour of repeal, he cannot support abortion without restriction up to 12 weeks.

In a speech to the Dáil in January, Health Minister Simon Harris said: "I hope, I really do, that as a country we can no longer tolerate a law which denies care and understanding to women who are our friends, our sisters, our mothers, our daughters, our wives.

"Ultimately, there is always a deeply personal, private story behind each individual case, which I believe is a matter best served by women and their doctors".