Saturday 21 April 2018

Micheál, if you really want to 'don the green jersey', then Fianna Fáil will support this Government

Liz O'Donnell

Liz O'Donnell

It's time for shouting at the radio again. Surely I am not alone to despair at the carry-on in Leinster House. At a time of unprecedented economic challenge and high risk for our country, caused by the upheaval and uncertainty post-Brexit, our politicians are in scuffles over water charges and a re-run of a private members' bill for legislation that would permit abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.

Now, the latter is a hugely important health issue; a reform which attracts significant support across all parties and none. The reform is widely viewed as a compelling human rights issue for women with crisis pregnancies caused by this tragic medical condition. But it is complicated by the fact that to proceed, it needs the removal of the Eighth Amendment. Without constitutional change, any extension of the law is unconstitutional. All TDs know this.

That is why there is a process in place towards putting the question to the people in referendum during the lifetime of this Government; a process similar to that used before the referendum on marriage equality. The Attorney General has predictably advised that, in the absence of constitutional change, the private members' bill before the house in the name of Independent TD Mick Wallace is unconstitutional.

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