"Irish abortion laws are too restrictive" - Leo Varadkar

The health minister says the issue is 'not going to go away'

Ireland abortion law Leo Varadkar restrictive Northern Ireland constitutional convention vote

Health Minister Leo Varadkar | Image: RollingNews.ie

The laws around abortion in Ireland are too restrictive, according to the Health Minister Leo Varadkar.

Mr Varadkar said that the laws with regard to the health of mothers and fatal foetal abnormalities need to be looked at.

However, he said he will not be lobbying his Fine Gael colleagues on the issue.

His comments come just days after the Belfast High Court ruled that the abortion laws there are "incompatible" with human rights law.

It means it is now up to the politicians at Stormont to change the law in the North - but they are not legally binded to do so.

The Justice Minister in Northern Ireland, David Ford, says he hopes to legislate on abortion for fatal foetal abnormality.

Following that ruling, Taoiseach Enda Kenny committed to a discussion on the issue after the next election, such as a Constitutional Convention.

Mr Kenny confirmed in the Dáil yesterday that Fine Gael TDs would have a free vote if there is a decision to go to a referendum on repealing the 8th amendment.

"If out of that process, taking into account a comprehensive and sensitive analysis, there is a set of options to be considered - if it comes to this House here, the members of this party will have a free vote on that" he said.