TDs and Senators warned over Eighth Amendment badges on RTÉ

Politicians were told they can wear items if being interviewed about the abortion issue

TDs and Senators warned over Eighth Amendment badges on RTÉ

The RTÉ campus in Donnybrook | Image: RollingNews.ie

TDs and Senators have been warned by RTÉ not to wear badges, emblems or clothing supporting either side of the abortion debate if they appear on the broadcaster talking about other issues.

In a letter sent to Oireachtas members, politicians were told they can wear items expressing a view if they are being interviewed about abortion.

However in the interest of fair and impartial broadcasting, it said they should not do so if being interviewed on other subjects.

The broadcaster asked politicians to respect producers and staff if asked to remove badges or emblems before a broadcast.

On Wednesday, the Government announced a vote on whether the Eighth Amendment should be repealed will be held on May 25th.

The Dáil has approved the draft legislation that will be brought in if referendum is passed.

It will allow for abortion without restriction up to the 12th week of pregnancy.

Seventy-two hours will have to pass between a woman seeking an abortion and it being carried out.

After the first three months of pregnancy, terminations will only be allowed where there is a fatal foetal abnormality or a risk to the life or health of the mother.

Speaking after the referendum was officially called Health Minister Simon Harris said the people of Ireland could now have their say on the issue for the first time in a generation.

"My message to the people of Ireland is, this is your chance," he said.

"If you can no longer accept that every year, thousands of women in this country have to go abroad to access terminations, this is your chance to right that wrong.

"If you can no longer accept that every year thousands of women - often in the privacy of their bedroom or their own home without any medical supervision - this is your chance to right that wrong."