Abortion bill finally passes through Seanad
The abortion bill has finally passed through the Seanad by 39 votes to 14 after more than a week of discussion.
It completes a lengthy process that has lasted over eight months. After the expert group report on abortion was published last November, there were public hearings in January with a draft bill agreed by cabinet last month. And since the bill went to the Dail and Seanad, five Fine Gael TDs – including Junior Minister Lucinda Creighton- and two Fine Gael Senators have been expelled from the parliamentary party for voting against it.
There were protests from opposition Senators as the Government imposed a guilllotine on debate on the bill at 8pm - even though around 40 of the 62 amendments had not been discussed. The Seanad had been discussing the bill for over a week. The bill will now go to President Michael D Higgins for signature into law or referral to the Supreme Court to test its constitutionality