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Breaking Ranks

Now this Fine Gael TD wants to repeal the 8th Amendment (but he's still 'very pro-life')

Jerry Buttimer is one of the first Fine Gael TDs to call for the repeal of the controversial constitutional amendment.

FINE GAEL TD Jerry Buttimer has said the 8th Amendment should be removed from the Constitution.

Buttimer is one of the first Fine Gael deputies to directly call for the repeal of the controversial amendment. Passed by referendum in 1983, Article 40.3.3 enshrines the equal right to life of the unborn and the mother in the Constitution.

While Labour and Sinn Féin have both passed motions calling for a referendum to repeal the amendment at their party conferences in recent weeks, Fine Gael’s position is unclear in the lead-up to the next general election. Before Christmas, Health Minister Leo Varadkar described Ireland’s abortion laws as “too restrictive”.

Buttimer, who chairs the Oireachtas Health Committee, explained to why he wants the 8th repealed despite describing himself as “very pro-life”:

Video / YouTube

Watch: Check out this abortion debate between William Binchy and Mary Robinson in 1983

Explainer: What is the 8th Amendment?

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