Politicians cannot be trusted on time limit, anti-abortion campaigner says

A group calling for a No vote in Ireland's abortion referendum has claimed a proposed 12-week limit on unrestricted terminations would not last long.

Abigail Malone of the Save The 8th campaign said Irish people could not trust politicians to legislate for abortion.

Irish citizens will head to polling booths on Friday to cast their vote in a referendum on whether they want to liberalise Ireland's strict abortion laws.

They will decide whether they want to remove the controversial Eighth Amendment of the constitution, which recognises the equal right to life of the unborn and the woman, and replace it with wording to allow parliament to legislate for the termination of pregnancies.

If passed, the Irish government intends to legislate to allow abortions for up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Abortion after that date would only be permitted in extreme circumstances.

"If we don't say no to this, it will not be 12 weeks for long," Ms Malone said.

"Before I'm 40 years old it will be abortion for any reason, much later than 12 weeks.

A view of posters in favour of and against abortion (Niall Carson/PA)
A view of posters in favour of and against abortion (Niall Carson/PA)

"Irish people cannot trust politicians on this issue.

"We have never been able to trust a politician on this issue."

Ms Malone said the referendum was not just about women involved in cases of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormalities.

"What we have seen in this campaign is the most gruesome, PR driven, political and savage exploitation of these women to justify the abortion of perfectly healthy babies," she said.

Currently, terminations are only allowed in the Irish Republic when the life of the mother is at risk, including from suicide, and the maximum penalty for accessing an illegal abortion is 14 years in prison.

The Save The 8th campaign called for better services and supports for women in crisis pregnancy.

"We deserve better than abortion on demand, you deserve better than abortion on demand, this great country deserves better than abortion on demand.

"If you don't want abortion on demand then use your vote to demand something better," said Ms Malone.