Reading this by Pat Leahy in the Irish Times it struck me that far from there being one centre ground on the 8th, or rather what succeeds it, there are now two. I’m not suggesting that as a value judgement but rather as an observation. Initially – and we saw SF to some extent caught by this, the ‘centre ground’ was one where there would be Repeal followed by provision of abortion in a limited range of cases. Then the dynamic towards 12 weeks became much stronger more generally – particularly on foot of the Oireachtas Committee recommendations, and a new centre ground opened up, more recently validated by both Martin and Varadkar.
But, as Leahy notes:
Simon Coveney’s declaration that he is in favour of repeal of the Eighth Amendment but against abortion on request up to 12 weeks is a significant intervention in the referendum debate.
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