Thursday 18 January 2018

Abortion bill finally passes through Seanad

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

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

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