Irish parliament rejects abortion bill: The Church of England Newspaper, April 29, 2012 p 7. May 6, 2012Posted by geoconger in Abortion/Euthanasia/Biotechnology, Church of England Newspaper, Church of Ireland.
Tags: Clare Daley
The lower house of the Irish Parliament has rejected a private member’s bill to ease the Republic’s abortion laws. In a vote of 109 to 20, the Dáil rejected the bill brought by Clare Daly of the opposition Socialist Party that would permit “termination of pregnancy where a real and substantial risk to the life of the pregnant woman exists.”
Ms Daly had urged the Dáil to bring Ireland in line with a 2010 European Court of Human Rights ruled that held the country’s failure to implement the existing constitutional “right” to abortion was a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. In 1992 the Irish courts legalized abortion in limited circumstances in the “X” case. However, successive governments have declined to enact legislation codifying the country’s abortion laws.
“We believe that it is only a first step for abortion to be legalized in Ireland in all circumstances. We have waited long enough,” Ms. Daly said before the vote.
“Over 100,000 Irish abortions have taken place in Britain for many different reasons, none of them easy, all of them valid. The hypocrisy, injustice and expense of having to travel to England for terminations, away from family and friends, is a disgrace,” she said.
Minister for Health Dr James Reilly rejected the Bill on the grounds that the House should await the report of an expert group commissioned by the government in response to the ECHR ruling.
A spokesman for the Church of Ireland told The Church of England Newspaper noted that as this was a private members bill, there had been no government consultation and no opportunity for the church to address the legislation.
However, the Church of Ireland had made submissions on abortion to the Oireachtas Éireann, the upper and lower houses of Parliament, in 2011, the spokesman said.
“The Lambeth Declaration on Abortion remains the Church of Ireland’s officially stated and essential position: ‘In the strongest terms, Christians reject the practice of induced abortion, or infanticide, which involves the killing of a life already conceived (as well as the violation of the personality of the mother) save at the dictate of strict and undeniable medical necessity’,” the spokesman said.
He added that “within the Church there is probably a diversity of opinions on certain aspects of the abortion issue – areas of disagreement in exceptions of lethal or severe congenital abnormality of the foetus; pregnancy after incest; pregnancy after rape.”
However, “it has been the Church of Ireland view that the constitutional way is not the best method of dealing with the abortion issue,” the spokesman from the Church of Ireland Press Office said.
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.