Varadkar Confirms He Will Campaign For Liberalising Abortion Laws

Sync

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https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/taoiseach-leo-varadkar-has-said-he-will-campaign-to-liberalise-abortion-36536566.html

And he's done in on British radio. Which is....interesting.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he will campaign to liberalise Ireland's abortion laws.

The Fine Gael leader had said earlier this month that he believed 'Ireland's abortion laws are too restrictive and need to be liberalised' and he reiterated that point in an interview on BBC Radio 4 this morning.

Mr Varadkar also said that he would be campaigning to change the laws regarding abortion.

Read more: 'Ireland's abortion laws are too restrictive and need to be liberalised', says Leo Varadkar
“I’ll be campaigning for them to be changed and to be liberalised, yes," Mr Varadkar said when asked if he would be campaigning for change.

"My own views on this matter have evolved and I think sometimes the term pro-life and pro-choice can be misunderstood. I think even people who are in favour of abortion in certain circumstances are pro life. I still believe in life. I understand there are circumstances under which pregnancies can't continue."
Now that bits interesting. The pro-choice movement's been very successful in their work so far as demonstrated by the polling. The discussion is no longer "Will Ireland liberalise its abortion laws", the discussion is "Just how liberal will these changes be".

But Varadkar's statement indicates he's at the more conservative side of that liberalisation as opposed to the more liberal 12 week rule being discussed.
 


Lumpy Talbot

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No
That's it. There'll be volcanoes in Cavan by morning and plagues of locusts in Monasterevin.

Should be good for tourism though.
 

sic transit

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Politicians need to stay out of moral decisions.
Many will but some be extremely strident. Really more of a social than a political scenario but as Taoiseach he needs to have and state a stance.
 
D

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It is not a 'moral decision' - it is a decision about giving a woman the right to control what happens to her own body.
It's a moral decision because it concerns what she can do with another human life.
But back to Varadkar's statement - I don't think he can reconcile abortion on demand up to 12 weeks with any claim to be pro-life. But if he limits himself to ffa, rape and serious health threats, it could very well be a smart political move that will see Martin in big trouble.
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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The language about being for abortion and pro life is the essence of the middle ground. Middle Ireland, which he oft refers to
 

popular1

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So much for diversity
Same as all the rest of the politicians
What a surprise
 

Finbar10

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But Varadkar's statement indicates he's at the more conservative side of that liberalisation as opposed to the more liberal 12 week rule being discussed.
He may really have mixed feelings about the issue. However, this is also likely a careful political strategy. Tomorrow it seems the cabinet will approve a "repeal and enable" amendment, essentially leaving abortion in the hands of the Oireachtas from then onwards, if passed. Some people will naturally worry where the Oireachtas will take the issue in the longer term. I think all this prevarication is a strategy to soothe people's worries on this score: "look even the Taoiseach has concerns about the issue".
 

making waves

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It's a moral decision because it concerns what she can do with another human life.
It concerns what a woman can and cannot do with her own body - women are not incubators

But back to Varadkar's statement - I don't think he can reconcile abortion on demand up to 12 weeks with any claim to be pro-life. But if he limits himself to ffa, rape and serious health threats, it could very well be a smart political move that will see Martin in big trouble.
Varadkar is getting sore sitting on the fence trying to protect his liberal image while trying not to upset the conservative voter base of FG.

He may support gay rights but he does not support women's rights
 
D

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It concerns what a woman can and cannot do with her own body - women are not incubators


Varadkar is getting sore sitting on the fence trying to protect his liberal image while trying not to upset the conservative voter base of FG.

He may support gay rights but he does not support women's rights
There are other threads where the general issue of abortion can be discussed.
 

Disillusioned democrat

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Could it be something to do with fact that there was a poll yesterday that said 56% in favour, so Varadkar's Strat Comm unit decided it was time for our leader to follow?
 

Congalltee

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There are other threads where the general issue of abortion can be discussed.
The fundamentalists on both sides can’t stop themselves with cliches, slogans and appeal to emotion. They will swamp this thread very soon.
 

making waves

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“Repeal” only has 56% support, which is remarkable given that since 2013, the debate has been entirely one sided. (The opinion poll then ignored don’t know and would not say evenly - which is daft).
Repeal with a 12 week limit is 27 points ahead of the anti-abortion vote - to suggest that every single don't know or don't care will come out and vote anti-repeal is nonsense.

This is not to say the result is a foregone conclusion - it is not - Varadkar, Martin and the rest of the 'liberals' are more than capable of f*cking it up.
 

Finbar10

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The language about being for abortion and pro life is the essence of the middle ground. Middle Ireland, which he oft refers to
Sure. That's the picture it seems he's trying to build. I'd have a lot of sympathy with that view. However, I think he's trying to have his cake and eat it too (be neither pro-life or pro-choice). I'd personally have supported an appropriate replacement of the eighth (exceptions for FFA, serious threat to life of mother, and discretion for the Oireachtas to legislate up to 12 weeks). My issue with a "repeal and enable" is that it's likely progressively lead to more liberal regimes over time. Once the matter is in the hands of politicians, there will few restrictions on them being individually lobbied on policy (by perhaps well-funded charities). The media is mostly pro-choice (only for referendum campaigns are there really meaningful court-imposed balance rules). If passed, IMO there will be constant pressure towards liberalization in the years afterwards. I'm not convinced by Leo's wavering and prevaricating ("I'm not so sure this is a good idea, guys and gals") Pontius Pilate routine (publicly washing his hands to wipe off the blame no matter what way the referendum goes) as he nonetheless still goes for a full "repeal and enable".
 

Congalltee

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Repeal with a 12 week limit is 27 points ahead of the anti-abortion vote - to suggest that every single don't know or don't care will come out and vote anti-repeal is nonsense.
.
Who suggested that?
I referred to the core repeal vote being only 56%
(In comparison by this pre-referendum stage, marriage equality had 70-78% support)
 


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