Friday 23 February 2018

Respectful attitude is key in abortion debate

Dáil Éireann. Stock picture
Dáil Éireann. Stock picture


Anyone who remembers the "keep your rosaries off our ovaries" rhetoric that characterised debate on abortion in the past will have to acknowledge that the highly charged atmosphere alienated, rather than enlightened, those who sought clarity on a massively contentious issue.

The prospect of the Dáil introducing legislation followed by a referendum now looms. As the Oireachtas Committee recommends a series of changes to Ireland's abortion legislation, including allowing terminations up to 12 weeks, it must be hoped that reasoned, balanced, and informed discussion can take place. There must be respect for positions.

The recommendations of the Citizens' Assembly have now been examined. A majority of members back the introduction of a GP-led abortion service with terminations available up to 12 weeks. In plain terms, this means that in certain circumstances abortions could be available.

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