Wednesday 17 January 2018

Only 27 TDS vote for bill

FOR THE second time this year, Clare Daly TD (ULA) has failed to pass a Bill that would legislate for abortion in Ireland on the basis of the X Case.

In May, Deputy Daly tried to pass a similar bill which was voted down. This second attempt at introducing legislation on the X Case was defeated last Wednesday night in a vote in the Dáil with 27 deputies voting in favour of the measure and 101 against. Before the vote was taken, the Swords-based TD explained why she was trying to introduce the Bill and said it was 'absolutely scurrilous' that she had to return to the issue again and criticised the Government's opposition to her bill. She told the Dáil: 'When we were here in April, the Government told us we would have to wait for the report of the expert group. In April, Savita Halappanavar was not yet pregnant but now the woman is tragically dead. ' This time we are told the Government needs time to read the report when the whole country read it in last weekend's Sunday newspapers.' Deputy Daly said it was 'patently obvious' that there must be legislation and the Government was giving up the opportunity to deal with the issue in her Bill and instead opting for another 20 hours of debate on the issue over several days. Referring to comments made on the issue by the Minister for Justice, Deputy Daly said: 'As the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Shatter, said last night, a woman has had a legal right – he called it clear and unambiguous – to have an abortion where her life is in danger including a risk from suicide. 'Women have had that right for 30 years, yet during this time women have not been able to exercise that right because of the successive failures of this House to legislate for it.' Opposition parties who opposed her Bill also came in for criticism from the Swords TD, who said: 'It is not petty point-scoring but last week the opposition supported a call for legislation in this area and tonight we provided it. She rejected the charge that her Bill was 'divisive' saying: ' The Government pleads with us to withdraw it, saying we are being divisive. We are not.'

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