Monday 19 March 2018

Bridging this divisive gap in our laws long overdue

IT HAS been a very long time since a piece of legislation got such a thorough and lengthy discussion at Leinster House. Early today the Protection of Human Life During Pregnancy Bill was set to pass all stages in Dail Eireann. While the bill immediately goes to the Seanad, the end is in sight for an eight-month-long debate, which included two lengthy series of public hearings with contributions from legal and medical experts.

We accept the sincerity and honesty of those who opposed this legislation on grounds of principle. We note that for many of them this decision has created considerable personal and professional difficulties.

But we must conclude that the greater weight of argument rests with the Taoiseach and the Health Minister. This legislation is first and last about protecting the life of expectant mothers and granting certainty and clarity for doctors and nurses entrusted with the care of these vulnerable women.

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