- 31 Dec 17
There is growing concern in the Government that the abortion referendum will not happen before next summer due to time frame concerns.
However, Pro Choice activists are skeptical that that a visit from Pope Francis in August may be delaying the referendum to Repeal the 8th Amendment.
The Pope will be attending the World Meeting of Families in Ireland from August 21-26. There are concerns that this visit may boost the pro-life campaign as Pope Francis is expected to talk about the contentious issue at the summit.
As reported in the Sunday Independent,
"The thinking in Government is that May or June is still achievable, but if not, it's really October"
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has already promised a referendum in May or June so if he doesn't deliver there is expected backlash from Repeal campaigners.
It is understood that the Government is still very divided on the issue of abortion, as some members of the Cabinet have found fault with the recommendations of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Eight Amendment of the Constitution who decided that abortion services be available in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Health Minister Simon Harris recently came out in support of the Joint Committee findings saying that he was "ashamed at abortion treatment and changed his view."