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

 
 
The Master of the National Maternity Hospital is a woman under pressure. When I arrive at the agreed time for an interview, I am told at the front desk of the antiquated building on Holles Street that there are others waiting ahead of me. The “others” sitting in the small entrance hall waiting for Dr Rhona Mahony include a significant one – the Minister for State at the Department of Health, Alex White.

When Dr Mahony arrives about 10 minutes later to greet White, an apologetic secretary says that she is not sure how long I’ll have to wait as the master also has to go down to theatre.

Being the head obstetrician at a hospital with 700 staff and where about 27 babies are born each day is an onerous responsibility. She wears the stress lightly, although with the country convulsed over the death of Savita Halappanavar and the issues arising from that, everybody working at the coalface of the maternity services must be particularly deeply affected.

Full article by Sheila Wayman here
 
 
Fine Gael TDs must back legislation to deal with the European Court of Human Rights ruling that pregnant Irish women need certainty about legal abortion rights in Ireland, or else lose the party whip, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

Speaking in Cardiff, he said the party had very clear rules on this. “People who are elected to the party that I lead ... act and vote in accordance with party decisions. And that is the way that it will be,” he said.

On what needs to be done now he said: “We are dealing with a very different generation of politicians, our country has moved to a different space, there are clearly very strongly-held views,” said Mr Kenny.

“The vast majority of people understand what needs to be done here, but they do not want to move to a position where you have abortion on demand in the country,” he went on.

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TV3 PLANS TO broadcast a debate on the issue of abortion tomorrow night.

Among the speakers will be writers for the Irish Times and Irish Independent, as well as a patron of the Iona Institute and a Labour Senator.

Arguing against legislating for the X Case will be:

  • Breda O’Brien, Patron of the Iona Institute and columnist with the Irish Times
  • William Binchy, Regius Professor of Laws at Trinity College & Legal Advisor to the pro-life campaign
Arguing in favour of legislating for the X Case will be:

  • Dearbhail McDonald, Legal Affairs Editor at the Irish Independent
  • Ivana Bacik, Labour Senator and Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Trinity College
The debate will be pre-recorded at 8pm and broadcast at 10pm on TV3.

The debate comes the same day that the Expert Group report on the A, B and C case is presented to Cabinet. Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, will present the report tomorrow. According to what has been seen in purportedly leaked copies, the report puts forward a number of recommendations, including primary legislation; the issuing of guidelines without primary legislation; legislation alone; or legislation plus regulations.

The government will put an Action Plan to the Council of Europe on the issue on 30 November.


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We'll probably be live tweeting it over at @SavitasLaws, see you there?

 
 
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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.

 
 
We have a request, a fairly important one; information is key in this debate. This piece is from Eamon O'DWYER, LLB, FRCPI, FRCOG Professor, emeritus, of Obstetrics and Gynaecology National University of Ireland, Galway; while retired 10 years now, he worked there and in UHG for over 40 years. We cannot see how either of these places would be free of his influence.

In it, he bemoans the spread of the use of the contraceptive pill; describes Miss X as "a girl of 14, pregnant after consensual intercourse with a grown man"; claims that "there are no medical indications for abortion in a properly managed pregnancy"; asks "Is it any wonder that unmarried mothers now account for one third of the total confinements in the Country?"; and criticises the Irish Medical Council for "voting in favour of abortion where there was a congenital malformation such as spina bifida or where continuation of the pregnancy posed a risk to the mother's life"

As we have said. Information is key. Knowing who oppose your rights is key. Please read this and share it, and quote it wherever this excuse for a person is mentioned as a credible source on women's health. 

Read the article here.

Be warned, this article is ugly to read both because the site is horrible and the content is worse.
 
 
Over 2,000 attend another vigil and protest at the Dail. We will not be ignored. Never again! The next protest is on Wed 28th at 7pm - details HERE.

Tweets during Sinead Redmond's emotional speech

Sinead Redmond, Pro-Choice activist and heavily pregnant talks about the 8th amendment as a '152' year old relic. #Savita

New campaign @SavitasLaws http://www.savitaslaws.com/ and Facebook #Savita #rtept #legislatenow

Redmond talks about website 'Savita's Laws' established this week. #Savita

Pregnant speaker says civil and political opinion should have no role in her care #savita #dail

That last line came from a speaker who is 8 months pregnant. "My life and health are worth protecting." #Savita #LegislateForX

Very moving speech by Sinead Redmond & what I feel as we in the fucking dark ages #savita

Great emotional address from @sineadredmond calling for immediate legislation & removal of 1861 act #Savita #SavitasLaws #NeverAgain

"This is not a time to be calm. This is a time to be angry. A woman died a preventable death in an Irish hospital in 2012" #Savita

"I cannot sleep with rage, with fear"- 8 month pregnant Sinead Redmond #Savita

Sinead Redmond, of Unlike Youth Defence, says "we need movement and we need it now. Never again." #savita

Sinead Redmond cries "SHAME ON THEM!" on the steps outside Leinster House. Crowd erupts with shouts of 'shame' #Savita

"Civil and criminal law has no place in my pregnancy, in my medical treatment"- Sinead Redmond's voice breaks with emotion #Savita


Video of Clare Daly at the protest tonight


Photos from the march tonight


 
 
Savita Halappanavar died from infection after being refused an abortion in an Irish hospital even though she was miscarrying. Her death has reignited the abortion debate in the Catholic country where abortion is allowed only to save the life of the mother. Should Ireland’s abortion laws be changed or are current laws sufficient? The world is watching this case with #Savita. Join the conversation at 19:30GMT. 

In this episode of The Stream, we speak to

Niall O’Dowd
Founder, IrishCentral.com 

Dr Seán Ó Domhnaill @lifeinstitute
Director, The Life Institute 

Sarah McCarthy @galwayprochoice
Spokesperson, Galway Pro-Choice 

Michael Nugent @micknugent
Chairperson, Atheist Ireland 

Colette Browne @colettebrowne
Irish Examiner Columnist 

Rory Fitzgerald @roryfitzgerald
Journalist and Lawyer