The Cabinet is thought to favour a 'repeal and replace' approach

The Cabinet is expected to formally take the decision to hold a referendum on the 8th amendment at a special meeting this evening.

Political party leaders, TDs and Senators have been outlining their stance on the issue over recent weeks, and a number of Government ministers have yet to state their positions,

At this evening's meeting, ministers are set to give the Health Minister Simon Harris permission to draft the referendum bill.

The Cabinet is thought to favour a 'repeal and replace' approach.

That approach would see the public voting on repealing the 8th amendment, and inserting a clause into the Constitution that would allow the Oireachtas to legislate for abortion.

The Attorney General, meanwhile, will brief ministers on his take on what the question should be.

Over the weekend, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar indicated he would campaign for the liberalisation of abortion laws.

Our Political Correspondent Sean Defoe reports: