Daly Abortion Bill defeated in Ireland in first vote

Editor’s note. We are updating a story posted earlier by the Irish pro-life group, Familyandlife.org

The Irish Times reported that Clare Daly’s bizarrely titled “Protection of Life in Pregnancy Amendment (Fatal Foetal Abnormalities) Bill” was defeated today 104 to 20 with the abstention of Sinn Féin (a political party). But this is just the first round, as we explained yesterday.

The Dáil [the lower house of the Irish Parliament] will vote today on a new abortion bill sponsored by Independent Socialist TD [Member of the Irish Parliament] Clare Daly. The bill would permit abortion in cases where the baby is diagnosed with a “fatal foetal abnormality”. Deputy Daly said that not allowing such abortions was barbaric, cruel, degrading treatment and she described it as torture.

Independent TD Clare Daly

Independent TD Clare Daly

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said he could not support the legislation proposal because the bill is “unconstitutional” and a referendum would be required to amend the Constitution so that the legislation as outlined by Deputy Daly could be introduced. However, he said he believed it was a matter “we should deal with in the next Dáil” and the Constitutional Convention could have a role in this. He told the Dáil that the Government has “no electoral mandate to hold a referendum on abortion and no consensus on what form any amendment should take”.

Deputy Daly dismissed the Government’s position that the bill is unconstitutional. She said an attorney general can be wrong and that the bill should be tested in the courts.

It is reported that at least on Labour Party TD intends to vote against the government and support the abortion bill. Anne Ferris TD said she would support the bill and accept the consequences. She said that she had campaigned for many years on the abortion issue.