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.
Slow passage: All eyes on Seanad as delays risk timeline of abortion bill
December 7 2018
Senators are wont to complain that nobody pays attention to the upper house - they won't have that to say over the coming days, as their handling of the abortion legislation will come under intense scrutiny.
The painfully slow passage of the legislation through the Dáil - which saw extensive debate, some old-fashioned mudslinging, and no meaningful change to the bill in the end - put the timeline for services at risk.
Fill me in - What does the new abortion legislation say?
Referendum fatigue since May 25th has made it hard to keep up.
Dec 6, 2018
IT’S BEEN OVER six months since Ireland resoundingly voted yes to repealing the 8th Amendment and to giving people choice in their pregnancy.
The date of the Referendum – May 25th – will go down in history, but it was the years and months and weeks leading up to this date that truly won the vote.
The victory for reproductive rights was a hard fought, long drawn-out and emotionally draining battle. Since the euphoria and relief of that day in May, activists, campaigners and supporters have felt a collective fatigue that made it nigh impossible to click into any article on the subject.
Delaying tactics on abortion legislation must end – O’Connell
4th December 2018
Kate O'Connell, TD
The delaying tactics employed in the Oireachtas on the abortion debate must come to an end, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Kate O’Connell, who was a member of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment, said it is time to give the 66.4% of people who voted Yes the change they voted for.
200 amendments but only one is passed as abortion debate rages on
Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
November 9 2018
After three days of intense debate that was often impassioned and deeply personal, only one of 180 amendments to the abortion bill was accepted.
Simon Harris, the health minister, added a clause that will mean the bill legalising terminations will be reviewed after five years. However, that will be shortened to three years at a later stage. The legislation was being examined by a select health committee.
Simon Harris expected to compromise on number of changes in Abortion Bill
Friday, November 09, 2018
By Elaine Loughlin, Political Correspondent
Health Minister Simon Harris is expected to reach compromise on a number of changes put forward to the Abortion Bill.
The Termination of Pregnancy Bill passed Committee stage this week, however, Mr Harris will meet members of the Health Committee on Tuesday to thrash out a significant number of amendments which he promised to review before the Bill goes to Report stage.
Anti-abortion TDs fail in ‘grotesque’ attempt to force burials
Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
November 8 2018
Up to ten anti-abortion TDs have failed in an attempt to make access to terminations more restrictive after their proposals were dismissed as “grotesque” and offensive to women.
A health committee will today finish examining a new bill to allow legal access to abortion for the first time in Ireland. Yesterday, TDs on the committee overwhelmingly voted against measures designed to make terminations harder to access.
Health committee rejects abortion legislation amendments by pro-life TDs
Wednesday, November 07, 2018
By Elaine Loughlin
Latest: The Health Committee has rejected amendments to abortion legislation put forward by a group of pro-life TDs.
Simon Harris at the Health Commitee today. Photo: Oireachtas TV
The Committee has so far examined almost 130 amendments of 180 tabled in relation to a Bill to allow for abortion in this country.
Harris says abortion legislation doesn't mention the word 'abortion' for legal reasons
The Health Minister also said he wants the Bill to be inclusive of members of the trans community.
Nov 6, 2018
SIMON HARRIS HAS said the word ‘abortion’ is not mentioned in the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill due to legal advice.
The Health Minister and members of the Oireachtas Health Committee are meeting today to consider amendments to the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill.
A number of TDs want the wording of the Bill to be changed, with Solidarity–People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith saying not using the word ‘abortion’ is an “obfuscation and a deliberate ignoring what’s going on here”.
Anti-abortion TDs’ push to make foetus burials ‘offensive’
Jennifer Bray, Ireland Deputy Political Editor
November 5 2018
Simon Harris has criticised attempts by a small number of TDs to make burials or cremations compulsory after a woman has an abortion.
Nine TDs want to amend the abortion bill to make it a criminal offence for a woman not to have a burial or a cremation after a termination, including in cases in which they had taken abortion pills prescribed by a GP at home.