The former justice Minister Alan Shatter is calling on Fine Gael to include a promise to hold a new abortion referendum in its General Election Manifesto.
Deputy Shatter believes that terminations should be allowed in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities and for women who are pregnant as a result of incest or rape.
He told a constituency meeting in Dublin tonight that politicians can no longer deprive people of a referendum because they fear the emotive debate that would ensue.
Deputy Shatter is also calling for a new Divorce referendum - saying that the four year rule between the time a couple separates and can get a divorce should be reviewed.
“I believe that constitutional change should address these issues whether it is required or not so that the law is clear and not subject to challenge and pregnant women are not, at a time of great distress, reluctantly required to participate in high profile test cases of uncertain duration and outcome,” Mr Shatter said.
“I believe that the view of an overwhelming majority of the general public on this issue is clear and that it is no longer tenable for those in political life, for fear of the inevitable emotive debate that will ensue, to deprive the people of an opportunity in a referendum to express their views.”
“I hope a commitment to do so will appear in the Fine Gael General Election Manifesto when it is published,” he added.