Friday 21 July 2017

Independent TD Clare Daly's controversial abortion bill defeated

Clare Daly TD
Clare Daly TD
John Downing

John Downing

Independent TD Clare Daly's controversial abortion bill has been defeated this evening.

The bill was defeated by 104 votes to 20.

Ahead of the vote, the Government was today accused of subjecting mothers, whose babies are victims of fatal foetal abnormality, to "torture".

Independent TD Clare Daly told the Dail that her private member's bill on the issue was wrongly declared "unconstitutional" by the Government's legal adviser, the Attorney General.

Ms Daly said women in this predicament were entitled to a termination of pregnancy in Ireland as provided for in her bill due before the Dail today.

"It's cruel, inhumane and torture," Ms Daly said, describing a situation where the women were obliged to have their child's remains sent "in a jiffy bag."

The Dublin North TD was speaking as Labour TDs and Senators continued a meeting to decide their stance on the draft law.

Read more here: 'Deep concern' within Labour over plan to oppose Daly abortion Bill 

Speculation continues that several Labour representatives will not endorse the Government move to vote down Ms Daly's bill.

Ms Daly said the Taoiseach was preparing to "frogmarch" the government backbenchers into the Dail to vote against her bill.

Mr Kenny said Deputy Daly had the right to bring her bill to the Dail - but she could not dictate matters related to the Constitution.

"You're entitled to bring your bill under the process of reform here. But you do not own the Constitution - it's the people's Constitution," the Taoiseach told Deputy Daly.

Read more here: Mick Wallace blasts Government's claims as 'horse-s**t' in highly charged, emotional debate on abortion 

Ms Daly said a number of conservative bodies had endorsed her bill and did not agree it was unconstitutional - which was the view of only one person the Attorney General Marie Whelan.

"How dare you have the arrogance to interpret the Constitution," Ms Daly told the Taoiseach also accusing him of "hypocrisy."

Read more here: 'I had to bury my daughter' - TD Richard Boyd-Barrett on his experience with fatal foetal abnormality 

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