Wednesday 22 November 2017

Opposition predicts abortion issue will return after vote

Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

INDEPENDENT TD Richard Boyd Barrett has predicted that the issue of abortion “will be back” due to the Government’s failure to produce a comprehensive bill.

He was the first speaker on one of the final stages of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, which is due to be voted on by the Dail tonight.

Although Mr Barrett is supporting the bill, he criticised it as a “fudge and a sham” for not going far enough to provide abortion rights for women.

“We are going to be back here again because you have not vindicated the rights of women,” he said.

Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins said the bill was a most minimal piece of legislation which was designed to cover the 1992 Supreme Court X case – where a pregnant suicidal teenage rape victim was allowed an abortion.

He said it was really cowardly that the bill did not allow for abortion where a woman was a victim of rape or incest. And he said that women would still be forced to endure the trauma and expense of travelling abroad to England for an abortion.

However, Independent Kildare North TD Catherine Murphy said that a  constitutional referendum would be required to go further than the current contents of the current "highly restrictive" bill. She questioned for where the money had come from for pro-life campaigns against the bill.

"There has been some money, particularly with the likes of Youth Defence," she said.

Independent Tipperary South TD Mattie McGrath, who is opposed  to the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, has tabled an amendment calling for it to be renamed the “Termination of Pregnancy”  bill.

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