Abortion Bill Easily Passes Second Stage Vote
Minister Simon Harris’s abortion bill comfortably passed its second stage vote in the Dáil this week. The vote in favour of the bill was 102 to 12, with seven of the TDs present abstaining.
The twelve TDs who voted against the abortion bill are Sean Canney (Ind., Galway East), Michael Collins (Ind., Cork South-West), Michael Fitzmaurice (Ind., Roscommon-Galway), Peter Fitzpatrick (Ind., formerly FG, Louth), Danny Healy-Rae (Ind., Kerry), Michael Healy-Rae (Ind., Kerry), Michael Lowry (Ind., Tipperary), Marc MacSharry (FF, Sligo-Leitrim), Mattie McGrath (Ind., Tipperary), Carol Nolan (Ind., formerly SF, Offaly), Éamon Ó Cuív (FF, Galway West), and Peadar Tóibín (SF, Meath West).
The bill now goes to Committee Stage where amendments will be proposed. Minister for Health Simon Harris wanted to push the bill through the Health Committee during next week’s Oireachtas recess. The Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghail ruled, however, that this would be in breach of Oireachtas standing orders.
A group of TDs who are opposed to the abortion legislation have accused Minister Harris of failing to engage meaningfully with them over the bill. Independent deputies Mattie McGrath, Michael Collins, Carol Nolan, Peter Fitzpatrick and Danny Healy-Rae said that while the public voted to remove the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution, they did not vote in favour of the bill in its current form.
The TDs said they requested a meeting to discuss the fears and concerns of GPs over the proposed new law, but the Minister would not meet them as a group. They said Minister Harris was consulting solely with medics and politicians who agree with his proposal.
The group is working on their own amendments to the legislation to be put forward at committee stage in two weeks.
Family & Life. Oireachtas Éireann. October 23. RTÉ. October 24. RTÉ. October 25.