Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says he'll campaign to repeal the 8th amendment in the upcoming referendum.

The government has decided to hold a vote in May on liberalising Ireland's abortion laws.

Leo Varadkar confirmed he supports allowing abortion without restriction for up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

In a speech last night he said repealing the 8th amendment would be a big shift for human rights in Ireland.

However, the Tánaiste Simon Coveney has confirmed he will support the repeal of the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution, but will not support terminations up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Speaking to The Irish Times after a four-hour Cabinet meeting, Mr Coveney said the status quo in Ireland was no longer acceptable and changes to the Constitution were required.

He insisted he could not support the removal of the legal rights of the unborn in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and would not be supporting such a proposition.

Meanwhile, Pro Life campaigners are launching a national billboard campaign today in favour of retaining the 8th amendment.

One of the posters features an image of Joseph - a boy from Donegal who has Down Syndrome. The Save the 8th campaign claims the vast majority of Down Syndrome babies are terminated before birth, in countries with liberal abortion laws.

Midwest News has asked both Minister Michael Ring and former Taoiseach Enda Kenny to state their positions on the proposed Amendment and 12 weeks unrestricted abortion. We expect to hear from Minister Ring on our lunchtime news.

The two Fianna Fail deputies in the county have made their positions clear. Lisa Chambers is in favour of the repeal and the 12 weeks unrestricted abortion, while deputy Calleary is against both.


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