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Newstalk

14.57 29 Mar 2018


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With just eight weeks to go until the abortion referendum – campaigning on both sides is gaining momentum.

On May 25th, Irish people will be asked whether or not they want to repeal the Eighth amendment and allow the Oireachtas to legislate for abortion.

This morning , the 'Save the 8th' group launched its campaign in Dublin - claiming that a yes vote in the referendum would make Irish people complicit in establishing a 'licence to kill.'

Group spokesperson Niamh Uí Bhrian said a yes vote would be a "horrible and tragic mistake."

"We ask the Irish people to trust their guts on this," she said.

"They are being asked to give politicians a power they do not deserve and cannot be trusted to wield.

"They are being asked to sanction not just this abortion law but every abortion law and every abortion in the future."

She said this was "going too far."

Campaign

On the Pat Kenny Show, the Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe admitted the country was facing into a hard-fought campaign:

Pro-life group launches 'Save the 8th' campaign

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

"I believe the final result will be less wide than the polls are indicating at the moment," he said.

"But my belief at the moment - and I will be campaigning for a yes vote - is that the referendum will pass.

"While recognising the fact that even in my own party and [among] people who might support my party or the Government - people will disagree with me on this matter."

"Your chance"

Speaking after the referendum was officially called yesterday, the Minister for Health 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."

Ahead of the vote, members of the public are being urged to  check the register to ensure they are entitled to vote in the place where they ordinarily live and can have their say on  May 25th.

Reporting from Paul Quinn ...


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