Daly may table third abortion Bill

 

Independent TD Clare Daly said she will table her third Bill relating to X case legislation if the Government does not bring forward legislation in the new year.

Ms Daly’s second abortion Bill was defeated after a vote of 101 to 27 in the Dáil last night. Her first Bill was defeated 111 to 20 in April. On both occasions, the Bills were opposed by Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil.

Despite penning the Bill, Ms Daly said she expected the result.

"I wasn’t that surprised, but I’m a bit disappointed," Ms Daly told The Irish Times this morning. "They could have engaged the issue to the second stage. There wasn’t anything wrong with the Bill that couldn’t have been tweaked at a later stage," she said.

"Of course we will table another Bill to legislate for the X case. The last time we tabled a Bill we said we would keep the pressure on until legislation was passed. I don’t think there will be another abortion Bill voted on in the Dáil for another six months."

Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton said today there was no consensus in any political party on the best way to proceed.

She told the Today with Pat Kenny programme on RTÉ programme that the Supreme Court decision was “extremely open-ended and vague” and that any legislation was likely to be tested in the courts.

During the debate last night, Minister for Health James Reilly said he wanted to offer women in Ireland and health workers the clarity needed and added the Government will not let the issue go unaddressed.

Mr Reilly said he hoped the expert group report on abortion would soon lead to all parties agreeing on the issue, but that Ms Daly’s bill was flawed and more time was needed to consider the expert group findings.

Despite the result, Ms Daly said there is a desire for a change in the country and the support for legislation has grown.

"After the vote I came outside and there were young women crying. I have been around a long time and I’ve never seen anything like this," she said.

"A new generation have gotten involved and they are not going to go away."

Meanwhile, Green Party chairperson Roderic O'Gorman said the party is to consider its position on legislative options set out in the report of the expert group on abortion at its national council meeting this Saturday.

"The tragic death of Savita Halappanavar has added a greater urgency to the consideration of the whole issue. While the full facts of the case await investigation, they indicate a continuing uncertainty regarding what measures medical staff can take to protect a woman's life," he stated.

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