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Response to report mixed as choice and pro-life groups clash

THERE was mixed reaction to the publication of the expert group report on abortion – with one group calling on the Government to act immediately on its findings.

However, the pro-life movement rejected the group's recommendations that legislation should be introduced to give effect to the X Case.

A spokesman for the Catholic bishops said they would consider the expert group report in detail at their winter meeting in Maynooth next week.

But Choice Ireland called on the Government to act now on the options set out in the report.

Its spokeswoman Stephanie Lord said it was obvious from the options that the Government was left with no option now but to legislate to provide lawful abortions for women where they have life-threatening conditions.

"The Government did not need an expert group to tell them this but now that they have, it should be acted on immediately," she said.

She said Choice Ireland was calling for cross-party support for Clare Daly's Bill allowing for abortion under those circumstances.

"The Government should allow this legislation to proceed as an emergency measure. It would still allow them to reflect on the options provided in the expert group report."

Reacting to the report, the Pro-Life Campaign said it believed that one option not included in the report was to hold another referendum to reverse the Supreme Court decision of 1992.

"Ultimately if the people do not want to have an abortion regime such as exists in England, that is the only way to address the situation.

The group will "strongly oppose any attempt to introduce abortion along the lines of the X Case ruling", added Caroline Simons, legal consultant to the Pro-Life Campaign.

Irish Independent