"Pro-Life" TDs Vote for Abortion Bill
Among those who voted for the Abortion Bill at Second Stage this week were a number of TDs who have previously declared themselves to be pro-life. It even included three TDs who had voted against the Bill to hold the abortion referendum in the first place.
Jackie Cahill (FF, Tipperary), Shane Cassells (FF, Meath West), and Jack Chambers (FF, Dublin West), all voted against the 36th Amendment of the Constitution Bill in March (which paved the way for the abortion referendum in May), but voted for the actual abortion bill this week.
Other TDs who have previously led their constituents to believe them to be pro-life, but who voted for the abortion bill include James Browne (FF, Wexford), Peter Burke (FG, Longford-Westmeath), Thomas Byrne (FF, Meath East), Dara Calleary (FF, Mayo), Simon Coveney (FG, Cork South-Central), Michael d’Arcy (FG, Wexford), John Deasy (FG, Waterford), Damien English (FG, Meath West), James Lawless (FF, Kildare North), Michael McGrath (FF, Cork South-Central), John McGuinness (FF, Carlow-Kilkenny), Joe McHugh (FG, Donegal), Michael Moynihan (FF, Cork North-West), Darragh O’Brien (FF, Dublin Fingal), Anne Rabbitte (FF, Galway East), Michael Ring (FG, Mayo), and Robert Troy (FF, Longford-Westmeath).
Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael both permitted free votes on this bill, so all the supposedly “pro-life” TDs who voted Yes were perfectly free to vote No, as Peadar Tóibín (SF, Meath West) did, even in defiance of his party whip. It is believed that some Fianna Fáil TDs voted for the abortion bill to please their party leader Micheál Martin (Cork South-Central), who also voted for the bill.
Full details of the vote are available on the Oireachtas website.
Family & Life. Oireachtas Éireann. October 23.