Monday 20 February 2017

Kenny will not bend to Left on abortion

The political class has been left dragging its heels behind the mood of country on the thorny issue of abortion

Published 31/05/2015 | 02:30

LIBERAL VOICE: Clare Daly wants to repeal amendment
LIBERAL VOICE: Clare Daly wants to repeal amendment
REJECTED REPEAL CALLS: Cora Sherlock
WHAT THE PUBLIC THINKS: Results of a series of Sunday Independent/Millward Brown polls

With last weekend's stunning victory for Ireland's liberal agenda in the passage of the same-sex marriage referendum, attention immediately turned to the thorny issue of abortion.

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The sun had not yet set on Dublin Castle and the official result in the referendum hadn't yet been announced, but those on the Left, including several senior Labour ministers, were talking about repealing the controversial 1983 Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment, which gives equal rights to the mother and the unborn, is detested by liberals and cherished by conservatives. It is the next battle in Ireland's social agenda.

Liberals argue, with some legitimacy, that the status quo on abortion is deeply restrictive and has the effect of forcing women, largely vulnerable women, to suffer unimaginable trauma by not permitting an abortion in extreme situations of distress.

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