Taoiseach: Only A Matter Of Time Until A Woman Is Jailed For Using Abortion Pills
The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned that it would only be a matter of time before a woman is jailed for using abortion pills if the public votes to keep the Eighth Amendment.
Vicky Conway, associate professor at the School of Law and Government at DCU, explains that women who take abortion pills are guilty of "destruction of an unborn life" under current legislation, and this merits a 14-year prison sentence.
"If she attempts to destroy that life, she will also be guilty of an offence, and anyone who conspires with her to do so will also be guilty of an offence."
There have been no prosecutions to date in Ireland, but there have been a number in Northern Ireland in recent years. Vicky describes this as "a really unsatisfactory situation - I'd really question what the purpose of this law is."
"As long as we have the Eighth Amendment, we have to have this level of criminalisation."
Ben O'Floinn, a barrister with Lawyers For Life, says the current legislation is a choice that was made by the government in 2013 and is something that could be remedied.
"I think most people on both sides of the debate would say that's something that should have been done long before now."
Ben says his own personal opinion is that women who take abortion pills shouldn't be punished: "There's a need for support and education, but the answer is not to sweep away all the rights of the unborn."
To catch the full chat press the play button on the image on the top of the screen