Tánaiste on voting Yes: "I don't want to wait for the newspaper story that I believe is inevitable" 3 years ago

Tánaiste on voting Yes: "I don't want to wait for the newspaper story that I believe is inevitable"

The Tánaiste spoke at a Yes campaign event on Saturday morning.

Simon Coveney has said undecided voters will decide the result of the upcoming abortion referendum and that a No vote would see the "status quo remain for another generation."

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Speaking at the launch of the 'Cork Fine Gael for Yes' campaign, the Tánaiste added that voters want clear facts on what a vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment would mean.

The event, launched on Saturday in the Clayton Hotel on Lapps Quay, was hosted by Simon Coveney, Minister Jim Daly, Jerry Buttimer, MEP Deirdre Clune and Cork Together for Yes.

The deputy leader of the party, who had initially expressed concerns over the Government's proposals for abortion without restriction up until 12 weeks, took to Twitter on Saturday to share his support for the Yes campaign.

Coveney wrote: "Positive launch of Cork YES campaign, led by emotive + tragic stories by doctors + women forced to travel four basic and necessary healthcare in pregnancy. Please take time to inform yourself about the realities of abortion choices in Ireland and the need for change."

He now believes that undecided voters will swing the vote on 25 May.

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Recent polls have shown both that a slight majority of voters are favouring a Yes vote and that around 20% of respondents still claim that they are undecided.

Speaking in Cork on Saturday, Coveney explained why he plans to vote Yes.

"I am voting Yes on May 25th because I don't want to go on with my daily life knowing that at least nine or ten women every single day are being exported for their problems, because we cannot face up to that reality here," he said.

"I'm voting Yes because I don't want to wait for the newspaper story that I believe is inevitable. That one morning tells us that a woman has haemorrhaged and died alone because of abortion drugs bought online."

Mr Coveney had previously said he does not believe there should be unrestricted access to abortion at any point in a pregnancy.

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However, following several meetings with government officials and medical health workers to establish boundaries around the use of abortion pills, the minister now says that he will support a law that allows access to abortion up to 12 weeks "if it's coupled with strict medical guidelines".

Just last month, Coveney said that he wants the new abortion legislation to include a vast majority lock in an attempt to avoid disparities in the near future.

In the early days of referendum campaigning, the Tánaiste had faced ongoing criticism for his conflicting stance of supporting the repeal movement and objecting the 12-week proposition. He has now said his approach would be based on what allows him to sleep at night.