Commenting on the remarks of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Wednesday that there would be a referendum on abortion in 2018, Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign said:

“It is disappointing to hear Leo Varadkar confirm that he will hold a referendum on abortion in 2018.  By making these comments, he is pre-empting the discussions in the upcoming Oireachtas Committee and confirming what many people feel, namely that the Citizens’ Assembly was only ever set up in order to pave the way for a referendum.

“Abortion has had a devastating effect in countries where it has been introduced.  In the UK, 1 in every 5 pregnancies ends in abortion.  That rate is repeated in several European countries and it is 300% more than Ireland’s abortion rate.”

She continued:

“Instead of planning for a referendum, it would make a refreshing change if the Taoiseach announced plans to look at why women feel the need to resort to abortion, and what better supports can be put in place to assist them when they are facing unplanned or difficult pregnancies.”