Taoiseach reiterates resolve to legislate for X case

Independent TD calls for referendum to extend grounds for abortions

Taoiseach Enda Kenny today reiterated the Government’s determination to legislate for the Supreme Court judgement in the X case. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny today reiterated the Government’s determination to legislate for the Supreme Court judgement in the X case. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

 

MICHAEL O’REGAN and MARIE O’HALLORAN

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has reiterated the Government’s determination to legislate for the Supreme Court judgement in the X case.

“Our duty as legislators in a Republic is deal with the Constitution and what it means in terms of the law, as set out by the Supreme Court, and that is what we will do,’’ he added.

He was replying in the Dáil this afternoon to Independent Waterford TD John Halligan, who commended the Taoiseach for bringing forward the legislation and asked him to have a referendum to allow abortions in cases of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormalities. He added that 17 women had become pregnant after being raped and had abortions last year.

“The pro-life argument centres on the right to life of the foetus,’’ he added. “But a woman has a right not to be raped. If her right is violated, I believe she has a right to end that pregnancy at her discretion.”

Mr Kenny said those were arguments and issues which could be discussed during the course of the debate on the Bill in the House. “And you raise very important issues that people make choices about... in many cases under circumstances of great duress,’’ he added.

He said it was now 30 years since the 1983 referendum and the Government had agreed on a set of heads for a Bill.

He added that the legislation did not deal with the issues raised by Mr Halligan and there was a range of views around the House and the country on what might or might not be done.