FEATURE - Ireland: The Abortion Bill passes the first house
International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion.
11 December 2018
Abortion bill passed by a large majority
On 6 December 2018, the lower house of the Irish parliament passed the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill at midnight with a vote of 90 for, 15 against, and 12 abstentions, after hours of debate and consideration of 60 amendments, almost all of which were voted down with large majorities. Minister of Health Simon Harris remained in strict control throughout the process, rejecting amendments by pro-choice members to make the bill less restrictive and by conservative/anti-abortion members to make it more restrictive, claiming throughout that he was determined to give the people the bill he promised before the referendum on the 8th Amendment to the Constitution in May. A small number of conservative members fought till the end, talking at length each amendment. Then, finally, it was passed. It moved the very next morning to the upper house. Ivana Bacik, a Labour Party member in the upper house, said she thought it very likely that the bill would become law before the holiday recess later this month.