Josepha Madigan says the constitution is not the place to deal with abortion

The Eighth Amendment is a constitutional straight jacket for women, according to a Cabinet minister.

Josepha Madigan has called for repealing the article, as Fine Gael launched their campaign for a Yes vote in the upcoming abortion referendum.

The minister says the next five weeks will lead to a defining moment for the country when people take to the polls.

Minister Madigan, Fine Gael's campaign coordinator, says the constitution is not the place to deal with abortion.

"In the time since the Eighth Amendment was introduced, we have seen repeatedly that it is deeply flawed.

"However well intentioned its insertion was, it has proven to be nothing but a constitutional straight-jacket for doctors - and as a consequence of that a straight-jacket for women who face, and continue to face, crises pregnancies".