Bríd Smith calls on the Taoiseach not to backslide or delay Eighth Amendment Referendum

Press Release- Bríd Smith TD, People Before Profit  16/01/2018

People Before Profit TD, Bríd Smith, has raised concerns about the decision to extend the time for Dáil statements on the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment report and suggestions from the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the referendum may not be held in May.

She said that it is extremely worrying to hear the Taoiseach obfuscate and backslide on the issue of holding the referendum in May when young people would still be in the country before heading abroad to work over the summer.

She said, “I am very concerned about the length of time the debates could take on the Oireachtas Committee report which gives each deputy 20 minutes to speak on it. We in Solidarity- People Before Profit suggested 10 minutes per deputy, not to stifle debate but to ensure we can move on and get the referendum in May. It has been scrutinised and debated in the Citizens’ Assembly, the Joint Oireachtas Committee, and in various Dáil debates when Bills were introduced on Fatal Fetal Abnormality, repealing the Eighth Amendment and on decriminalising abortion. I accept I can’t change some deputies minds on this, we need to move quickly beyond this Dáil and put the issue to the real Citizens’ Assembly; the people.

“The Taoiseach has given no reason as to why the government has not presented the Dáil with legislation to initiate a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment, with simple wording such as ‘do you want to repeal the Eighth Amendment from the constitution?’

“We in Solidarity- People Before Profit have such a bill, which has already been debated in the house. If the government are having trouble writing such a piece of legislation they can use ours.

“That main thing is that we have a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment from the constitution in May- something which we have been fighting for for 34 years.”