Abortion: Politicians lay their cards on the table

Is Ireland ready to delete the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution? The Oireachtas Committee believes it is

17th December, 2017
rotesters at the March for Choice, in Dublin last September Pic: Getty

It was February 1983 and Peter Sutherland, the attorney general of the day, could not have been clearer. “The wording is ambiguous and unsatisfactory,” he advised. He was briefing the then taoiseach, Garret FitzGerald, on the proposed wording of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution which, if passed, would ban abortions in Ireland.

With remarkable prescience, Sutherland said the amendment would confuse doctors, lawyers and judges, going on to say that “far from providing...

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