THE ABORTION BILL put forward by Clare Daly was defeated by a remarkable 101 votes to 27 last week, despite the blustering showboating of many TDs following the death of Savita Halappanavar.

We need legislation to allow Irish doctors to make confident decisions on the care of their patients; there’s no getting around that. Our public representatives are aware of that. The question, really, is not if legislation will be enacted, but when. Ireland’s politicians will dither, waffle on about the need for reflection, and hop from foot to foot wringing their hands, their delaying the inevitable conveniently acting as a sort of political appeasement to those who would oppose the legislation.

In short, they’ll sit on the fence up to the point where they can claim they only moved because they were pushed off.

And this is for medically-necessary abortion: termination in cases where pregnancy endangers the mother’s life, including by risk of suicide. Many of those who are advocating abortion legislation stress this. Medically-necessary. Extreme situations. Last resorts. Abortion-on-demand, we are told, is a different kettle of fish entirely.

Even the term is loaded, isn’t it? Abortion-on-demand. It suggests unreasonable women stamping their feet until they get their own way, abortion as another facet of a culture of insufferable entitlement. Its structure dissuades objection, but all the same it begs the question: what’s so terrible about abortion-on-demand?

Below is a list of TDs and how they voted.

Using this tool please contact your TD and tell them you are PRO CHOICE and if they voted yes, thank them and if they voted no tell them what matters to you, their constituent!


How the TDs voted:

  • Gerry Adams (SF) voted Yes
  • James Bannon (FG) voted No
  • Seán Barrett (Ceann Comhairle) abstained
  • Tom Barry (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Richard Boyd Barrett (ULA) voted Yes
  • Pat Breen (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Thomas P. Broughan (Ind/Lab) voted Yes
  • John Browne (FG) voted No
  • Richard Bruton (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Joan Burton (Lab) voted No
  • Ray Butler (FG) voted No
  • Jerry Buttimer (FG) voted No
  • Catherine Byrne (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Eric Byrne (Lab) voted No
  • Dara Calleary (FF) voted No
  • Ciarán Cannon (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Joe Carey (FG) voted No
  • Paudie Coffey (FG) voted No
  • Niall Collins (FF) voted No
  • Áine Collins (FG) voted No
  • Joan Collins (ULA) voted Yes
  • Michael Colreavy (SF) voted Yes
  • Michael Conaghan (Lab) voted No
  • Seán Conlan (FG) voted No
  • Paul J. Connaughton (FG) voted No
  • Ciara Conway (Lab) voted No
  • Noel Coonan (FG) voted No
  • Marcella Corcoran Kennedy (FG) voted No
  • Joe Costello (Lab) was absent/abstained
  • Simon Coveney (FG) voted No
  • Barry Cowen (FG) voted No
  • Michael Creed (FG) voted No
  • Lucinda Creighton (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Seán Crowe (SF) voted Yes
  • Jim Daly (FG) voted No
  • Clare Daly (ULA) voted Yes
  • John Deasy (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Jimmy Deenihan (FG) voted No
  • Pat Deering (FG) voted No
  • Regina Doherty (FG) voted No
  • Pearse Doherty (SF) voted Yes
  • Stephen S. Donnelly (Ind) voted Yes
  • Paschal Donohoe (FG) voted No
  • Timmy Dooley (FF) voted No
  • Robert Dowds (Lab) voted No
  • Andrew Doyle (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Bernard J. Durkan (FG) voted No
  • Dessie Ellis (SF) voted Yes
  • Damien English (FG) voted No
  • Alan Farrell (FG) voted No
  • Frank Feighan (FG) voted No
  • Martin Ferris (SF) voted Yes
  • Anne Ferris (Lab) was absent/abstained
  • Frances Fitzgerald (FG) voted No
  • Peter Fitzpatrick (FG) voted No
  • Charles Flanagan (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Terence Flanagan (FG) voted No
  • Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan (Ind) voted Yes
  • Sean Fleming (FF) was absent/abstained
  • Tom Fleming (Ind) was absent/abstained
  • Eamon Gilmore (Lab) voted No
  • Noel Grealish (Ind) was absent/abstained
  • Brendan Griffin (FG) voted No
  • John Halligan (Ind) voted Yes
  • Dominic Hannigan (Lab) was absent/abstained
  • Noel Harrington (FG) voted No
  • Simon Harris (FG) voted No
  • Brian Hayes (FG) voted No
  • Tom Hayes (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Seamus Healy (ULA) voted Yes
  • Michael Healy-Rae (Ind) voted No
  • Martin Heydon (FG) voted No
  • Joe Higgins (ULA) voted Yes
  • Phil Hogan (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Brendan Howlin (Lab) was absent/abstained
  • Heather Humphreys (FG) voted No
  • Kevin Humphreys (Lab) voted No
  • Derek Keating (FG) voted No
  • Colm Keaveney (Lab) was absent/abstained
  • Paul Kehoe (FG) voted No
  • Billy Kelleher (FF) voted No
  • Alan Kelly (Lab) voted No
  • Enda Kenny (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Seán Kenny (Lab) voted No
  • Seamus Kirk (FG) voted No
  • Michael P. Kitt (FF) voted No
  • Seán Kyne (FG) voted No
  • Anthony Lawlor (FG) voted No
  • Michael Lowry (Ind) voted No
  • Kathleen Lynch (Lab) voted No
  • Ciarán Lynch (Lab) voted No
  • John Lyons (Lab) voted No
  • Pádraig Mac Lochlainn (SF) voted Yes
  • Eamonn Maloney (Lab) voted No
  • Micheál Martin (FF) was absent/abstained
  • Peter Mathews (FG) voted No
  • Michael McCarthy (Lab) was absent/abstained
  • Charlie McConalogue (FF) voted No
  • Mary Lou McDonald (SF) voted Yes
  • Shane McEntee (FG) voted No
  • Nicky McFadden (FG) voted No
  • Dinny McGinley (FG) voted No
  • Mattie McGrath (Ind) voted No
  • Finian McGrath (Ind) was absent/abstained
  • Michael McGrath (FG) voted No
  • John McGuinness (FF) was absent/abstained
  • Joe McHugh (FG) voted No
  • Sandra McLellan (SF) voted Yes
  • Tony McLoughlin (FG) voted No
  • Michael McNamara (Lab) voted No
  • Olivia Mitchell (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Mary Mitchell O’Connor (FG) voted No
  • Michael Moynihan (FF) voted No
  • Michelle Mulherin (FG) voted No
  • Dara Murphy (FG) voted No
  • Eoghan Murphy (FG) voted No
  • Catherine Murphy (Ind) voted Yes
  • Gerald Nash (Lab) voted No
  • Denis Naughten (Ind/FG) was absent/abstained
  • Dan Neville (FG) voted No
  • Derek Nolan (Lab) was absent/abstained
  • Michael Noonan (FG) voted No
  • Patrick Nulty (Ind/Lab) voted Yes
  • Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (SF) voted Yes
  • Éamon Ó Cuív (FF) voted No
  • Seán Ó Fearghaíl (FF) voted No
  • Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (Lab) voted No
  • Aengus Ó Snodaigh (SF) voted Yes
  • Jonathan O’Brien (SF) voted Yes
  • Willie O’Dea (FF) was absent/abstained
  • Kieran O’Donnell (FG) voted No
  • Patrick O’Donovan (FG) voted No
  • Fergus O’Dowd (FG) was absent/abstained
  • John O’Mahony (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Joe O’Reilly (FG) voted No
  • Jan O’Sullivan (Lab) was absent/abstained
  • Maureen O’Sullivan (Ind) voted Yes
  • Willie Penrose (Ind/Lab) was absent/abstained
  • John Perry (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Ann Phelan (Lab) voted No
  • John Paul Phelan (FG) voted No
  • Thomas Pringle (Ind) voted Yes
  • Ruairí Quinn (Lab) was absent/abstained
  • Pat Rabbitte (Lab) voted No
  • James Reilly (FG) voted No
  • Michael Ring (FG) voted No
  • Shane Ross (Ind) was absent/abstained
  • Brendan Ryan (Lab) voted No
  • Alan Shatter (FG) voted No
  • Sean Sherlock (Lab) was absent/abstained
  • Róisín Shortall (Ind/Lab) voted No
  • Brendan Smith (FF) voted No
  • Arthur Spring (Lab) voted No
  • Emmet Stagg (Lab) voted No
  • Brian Stanley (SF) voted Yes
  • David Stanton (FG) voted No
  • Billy Timmins (FG) voted No
  • Peadar Tóibín (SF) was absent/abstained
  • Robert Troy (FG) was absent/abstained
  • Joanna Tuffy (Lab) voted No
  • Liam Twomey (FG) voted No
  • Leo Varadkar (FG) voted No
  • Jack Wall (Lab) voted No
  • Mick Wallace (Ind) voted Yes
  • Brian Walsh (FG) voted No
  • Alex White (Lab) voted No
THE long-awaited report of the expert group on the judgment in A, B and C v Ireland was published yesterday, and much of what was contained therein will not have come as a shock to those who have been following the debate on the issue.

The creation of an expert group in the first place was a mechanism designed by the then government to put off the inevitable act of legislating for the X case judgment which was handed down by the Supreme Court in 1992 that said pregnant women had a constitutional right to an abortion where it was established that as a matter of probability she had a real and substantial risk to her life. 

Full article by Stephaine Lord here
THERE is broad agreement that the Dáil must provide a legislative framework for a woman’s right to an abortion when her life depends on it, yet division persists about the inclusion of suicide as a risk to life.

People on the anti-choice side of thedebate, citing the UK’s 1967 Abortion Act, say that inclusion of suicide in any legislation would open the floodgates to abortion-on-demand in this country. 

This claim is specious. Legislation here would have to comply with the constitutional position that an abortion can only be countenanced when there is "real and substantial risk" to the life of the woman. 

In contrast, the UK’s decades-old liberalisation of its laws provided for an abortion in circumstances where "the termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman" or when "there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped". 

You don’t have to be a legal expert to appreciate that the Oireachtas is precluded, by the pre-eminent legal authority in this country — the Constitution — from enacting similar provisions here. 

Full article by Colette Browne here

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has moved to defuse public controversy and tensions between the Coalition parties over abortion by promising swift action and calling for a “calm, rational and sensitive discussion”.

However, there was adverse reaction within his own party, with a number of Fine Gael backbenchers complaining that they were being “press-ganged” into moving too rapidly to deal with the matter.

The report of the expert group set up after the 2010 European Court of Human Rights judgment against Ireland on abortion was discussed at Cabinet yesterday morning and subsequently published online.

The report contained four options for the Government, but leaned heavily in favour of a flexible combination of legislation and regulations.

A Dáil debate on the report starts on Tuesday, and Mr Kenny said he would “provide as much time as people desire”.

The Taoiseach said that prior to the Dáil going into recess for Christmas “the Government will make its view known, arising from those discussions and our own views, regarding which option it decides to pursue”.

From January 8th-10th and before the Dáil resumes the Joint Committee on Health and Children will hold public hearings on whatever option is chosen.

Full article by Deaglán de Bréadún and Mary Minihan here

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny says he wants to get "maximum consensus" to settle the divisive issue of abortion.

Me Kenny was speaking on the way into this morning’s Cabinet meeting, which is discussing the expert group report on abortion.

He did not give any details or a definite timeframe about what the Government plans to do, but said: “We’re not going to leave this hanging on interminably."

“I’d like to deal with it as quickly and as comprehensively when it’s practical to do so," he added. "Don’t ask me for a specific date."

FINE Gael is tearing itself apart over the threat of suicide being grounds for abortion – as a shadow is cast over the expert advice given to the Government on the issue.

A respected member of the expert group on abortion resigned last summer, but her departure was never disclosed by Health Minister James Reilly.

A leading family doctors' representative, Dr Ailis Ni Riain, was one of two GPs on the expert group, but she left the group in unexplained circumstances in May. Dr Ni Riain was to the forefront of research into crisis pregnancies and post-abortion counselling.

Her resignation only came to light last night, as tensions mount in Fine Gael over abortion, with the risk of suicide as a grounds for a termination becoming the new battleground.

Party ministers and TDs told the Irish Independent they have a concern about the threat of suicide being used as a pretext for obtaining an abortion where there is not actually any psychological risk to the mother.


Click here to RSVP to the event on Facebook. 

What: Protest at the Dail @ 7pm
Why: The Government is set to debate the Expert Group recommendations - we will be streaming audio live outside. 
How: As before, people will gather. Most likely we'll have some opening speeches, then we'll simmer down for the Dail debate, then we'll have closing statements.

What's different: As we're going to spend some time listening to the debate, bring camping chairs / a flask of tea/coffee to keep warm, and be sure to wrap up. 

Do you know any street vendors?

It's going to be a busy winter's night on the street, people would probably love to buy some grub, or at the very least some tea and coffee - if you know street vendors (with the relevant licences) please let them know they'll have a really large captive market on hand to buy their warm food and drinks.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has not ruled out a public inquiry into the death of pregnant Indian woman Savita Halappanavar.

Mr Gilmore said the priority was getting to the bottom of the 31-year-old dentist’s death after a miscarriage. “I wouldn’t rule anything out,” Mr Gilmore said.

His comments follow the announcement of a second investigation into her death – a statutory review by the Health Information and Quality Authority. The terms of reference for this inquiry will be published next week.

Minister for Health Dr James Reilly is considering continued requests for an open inquiry. He met Praveen Halappanavar, husband of the late Savita Halappanavar, in Galway for 25-minutes today in the company of his solicitor, Gerard O’Donnell.

Speaking afterwards Mr O’Donnell described their talks as “positive”. The meeting was sought by the Department of Health.