Ireland’s opposition leader wants to liberalise abortion law

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Ireland's opposition leader wants to liberalise abortion law
Micheál Martin stuns sections of Fianna Fáil party by changing his mind over the contentious issue

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent
Sun 11 Feb 2018

Ireland’s opposition leader has revealed he changed his mind in favour of liberalising the Republic’s strict anti-abortion laws after meeting women forced to travel to Britain to end their pregnancies after learning they had no hope their babies would be born alive.

Micheál Martin has stunned conservative sections of his Fianna Fáil party by backing the repeal of the eighth amendment to the Irish Republic’s constitution, which prohibits abortion, in a nationwide referendum in May.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/11/micheal-martin-ireland-opposition-leader-wants-to-liberalise-abortion-law

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Ireland: ‘It’s going to be divisive’: FG members remain split on abortion

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‘It’s going to be divisive’: FG members remain split on abortion
Party’s female politicians tend to back reform, but rural representatives have concerns

Feb 5, 2018
Harry McGee

For weeks, even months, in Leinster House, the abortion issue has dominated discussion within Fine Gael so much that little else has got a look-in.

But if you step outside its ornate wrought-iron gates and travel south to liberal Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, or to the mixed political terrain of Co Wicklow and across the country to conservative counties such as Sligo and Leitrim, is it the same? Are councillors and party members quite as engaged as their TDs and Senators?

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/it-s-going-to-be-divisive-fg-members-remain-split-on-abortion-1.3379685

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Ireland: TDs are evenly split on 12-weeks abortion proposal

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TDs are evenly split on 12-weeks abortion proposal
‘Irish Times’ survey raises doubt over whether such legislation would pass in Dáil

Feb 3, 2018
Pat Leahy

TDs are deeply divided on the proposal to introduce abortion on request up to 12 weeks, an Irish Times survey has found, and there is significant doubt over whether proposed abortion legislation would command a majority in the Dáil.

The Government has said it will introduce legislation to give effect of the findings of the Oireachtas Committee on abortion if the forthcoming referendum to abolish the Eighth Amendment, which bans abortion is almost all circumstances, is passed.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/tds-are-evenly-split-on-12-weeks-abortion-proposal-1.3378189

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‘There is an openness’ – Fianna Fáil in flux on abortion

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‘There is an openness’ – Fianna Fáil in flux on abortion
Support for repeal is 50/50 but the real split is over the proposed 12-week window

Jan 27, 2018
Harry McGee

Moral conservatism has always seemed intrinsic to Fianna Fáíl. It’s not just 1983 and the Eighth Amendment. It’s all the other referendums since then. It’s the way Micheál Martin was rebuffed, only four years ago, by his own parliamentarians during the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. It was the 70 per cent who voted to retain the Eighth Amendment in a debate on the margins of its ardfheis last autumn.

Though a liberal wing has emerged among its TDs and senators in recent years, the image has persisted for 35 years. That partly explains the volcanic reaction among colleagues to Martin’s volte-face on the Eighth Amendment last week.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/us/there-is-an-openness-fianna-f%C3%A1il-in-flux-on-abortion-1.3369765

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Fianna Fail leader defends abortion U-turn as he attends Hume book launch

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Fianna Fail leader defends abortion U-turn as he attends Hume book launch

By Allan Preston
January 26 2018

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has defended his apparent U-turn on abortion, saying the testimony of "harrowing trauma" experienced by some Irish women changed his mind.

Mr Martin was in Belfast yesterday to attend the launch of a new book about the former SDLP leader John Hume's time in America. Also in attendance at the event was the SDLP's former Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon.

Continued: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/fianna-fail-leader-defends-abortion-uturn-as-he-attends-hume-book-launch-36532740.html

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Majority in Ireland ‘would vote in favour of relaxing abortion laws’

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Majority in Ireland 'would vote in favour of relaxing abortion laws'
Cabinet set to give go-ahead for referendum as poll signals most Irish people favour liberalisation

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent
Fri 26 Jan 2018

A clear majority of Irish people would vote in favour of liberalising abortion laws and allowing terminations on request up to 12 weeks, according to a poll released as the cabinet prepares to meet to hammer out details of a referendum on the issue.

In response to the question “Will you vote to change the constitution so that the government can legislate for abortion up to 12 weeks, or will you vote not to change the constitution?”, 56% said they would vote in favour, 29% said they would vote against, and 15% said they did not know or offered no opinion.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/26/majority-in-ireland-in-favour-of-relaxing-abortion-laws-poll

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Ireland: Divisive issue of abortion a national torture, says Fianna Fáil TD

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Divisive issue of abortion a national torture, says Fianna Fáil TD
Cowen: Decision to support repeal, termination up to 12 weeks ‘agonising and difficult’

Jan 25, 2018
Marie O'Halloran, Michael O'Regan

Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen has told the Dáil that his decision to support the repeal of the Eighth Amendment and access to abortion up to 12 weeks was “agonising and difficult”.

Mr Cowen, an Offaly TD, said it would have been easier to make a decision if he had not read or studied the material and the legal evidence. He said that after reviewing the information, “I have to support repeal”

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/oireachtas/divisive-issue-of-abortion-a-national-torture-says-fianna-f%C3%A1il-td-1.3368826

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Abortion: Micheál Martin’s decisive intervention

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Abortion: Micheál Martin’s decisive intervention
Fianna Fáil leader’s initiative is a political risk as a significant number of party members will have been taken aback by it

Sat, Jan 20, 2018

The announcement by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin that he will back the removal of the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution and support unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks is a courageous move.

Given that a significant proportion of his parliamentary party takes a very different view of the issue, his decisive intervention in the debate surprised many people. Some of his own TDs and senators were stunned by Martin’s speech in the Dáil, particularly as he had not given any warning of his intentions.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/abortion-miche%C3%A1l-martin-s-decisive-intervention-1.3361566

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Ireland: Martin: Evidence to abortion committee prompted change of mind

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Martin: Evidence to abortion committee prompted change of mind
Fianna Fáil leader says matter is deeply personal and not a party political issue

Jan 19, 2018
Pat Leahy, Vivienne Clarke, Fiach Kelly

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says he changed his stance on abortion having evaluated the evidence from the Oireachtas Committee on the Eight Amendment.

Fianna Fáil TDs were stunned on Thursday evening by the unexpected declaration by Mr Martin that he would vote for the proposal to legalise abortion on request in the early months of pregnancy.

The announcement earned him plaudits from repeal campaigners but shocked some members of his party.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/martin-evidence-to-abortion-committee-prompted-change-of-mind-1.3361247

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Ireland: Latest: Summer date for abortion unrealistic, says Owen

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Latest: Summer date for abortion unrealistic, says Owen
Dec 31, 2017

Update 1.38pm: A former Fine Gael Justice Minister has said that Pope Francis' visit next August might not be the only reason for delaying the abortion referendum.

The Taoiseach has previously said he would prefer if the country voted on the 8th Amendment in May or June.

However, Nora Owen has said that the preparation alone required for the referendum makes this timeline unrealistic. "I think that Pope or no Pope, you're probably looking at a longer date than May and June, and you can't push it into July or August," she said.

Continued at source: http://www.eveningecho.ie/oneaday/Latest-Summer-date-for-abortion-unrealistic-says-Owen-68620353-a57a-46e0-8dae-695def051789-ds

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