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?

A LABOUR TD has said that the party “has not voted against the idea of legislating for abortion”.

Ann Phelan TD was speaking following the defeat of Deputy Clare Daly’s abortion bill during Private Members’ Business in the Dáil last night.

Deputy Phelan said that the party “is determined to act on the Expert Group report on abortion and I call on all concerned citizens to help us to deliver the necessary legislation and regulation”.

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Updated with advice on how to complain

As the calls reported on today seem not to fall within the political communication exception- not coming from any recognised political party, candidate or candidate for election- each call complained of could potentially attract an individual criminal conviction and fine. Only calls which prompt a complaint can attract any conviction.

Complaints to the Data Protection Commissioner can be made on-line for free.


A number of people have complained after receiving unsolicited calls regarding abortion in Ireland tonight. The calls, which were first mentioned on Twitter earlier this evening, claim to quote Eamon O’Dwyer, professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynaecology at NUI Galway. The call goes on to say that Irish doctors do not put mothers’ lives at risk and mentions the “tragic loss of a young woman in Galway”, alluding to the case of Savita Halappanavar.

It says that Ireland’s abortion ban does not stop doctors from saving women’s lives and that Ireland is one of the safest places in the world to have a baby. When the number 01-4402522 is called, it also asks the person receiving the message to leave a message on “whether we should continue to protect mother and child under our current pro-life laws, or legislate for abortion based under the British model or  any thoughts  you have if you are unsure”. People who received the phone calls claim they were asked to press numbers to vote on different subjects.

Listen to the call here

One user of Twitter advised those who received calls ” should notify the DPC. Use of autodiallers is governed under SI336.” The Data Protection Commissioner’s website can be found here.

The calls come after an estimated two thousand people protested outside of The Dáil tonight calling for legislation on abortion in Ireland following the case of Savita Halappanavar.

If you get a message like this, please contact us on the site or on our Facebook page.
REPORTS HAVE BEEN appearing online of automated calls being made to Irish phones on the topic of abortion.

The call, from a Dublin number, says it has a message from a medical and obstetrics expert saying that Irish doctors do not put mothers’ lives at risk and are always obliged to intervene to save mothers’ lives, even if that results in the unfortunate death of an unborn child.

The message also mentions the tragic loss of a young woman in Galway – although it does not mention Savita Halappanavar by name – and follows that by saying “claims that doctors cannot intervene to save mothers who are in danger is untrue”.

It says that the ban on abortion does not prevent doctors acting to save women’s lives, and Ireland is one of the safest places in the world to have a baby. According to people who have received the call, the pre-recorded message asks the person answering the call to press a button to give an indication of their views on abortion in Ireland.

When the phone number is rung, people are invited to leave their thoughts on “whether we should continue to protect mother and child under our current pro-life laws, or legislate for abortion based under the British model or [leave] any thoughts  you have if you are unsure”.

A number of Twitter users said they have received a similar unsolicited call, with one user saying her landline number was unlisted.

Source on the

THE MINISTER FOR Health James Reilly has recognised the need for a transparent, independent inquiry into the death of Savita Halappanavar at Galway University Hospital – but added that the process needed to be expedited in order to ensure no further risk is posed to women being treated at the facility.

Responding to questions put to him at the Joint Committee on Health and Children this evening, Reilly said that ‘justice not only needed to be done, but needed to be seen to be done’.

“This is a very difficult and traumatic time for the family of Savita Halappanavar and I know that it’s going to be very difficult for them in relation to whole procedure,” he said.  However, he added that he had a “duty of care” to women across the country to expedite the process so that if any further risks at the hospital remain they can be addressed.

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SINN FÉIN HAS hit back at the controversy surrounding party TD Peadar Tóibín’s position regarding their party’s motion on X Case legislation.

Speaking earlier today, leader Gerry Adams said that it was a distraction from the real issue.

“The real issue is that as an Oireachtas, we need to protect women who are pregnant and also the medical people who are charged with taking taking care of them, and that’s what we’re focused on,” he said.

Tóibín, who is pro-life, has not signed up to the party’s motion.

Admitting that he had not yet spoke to Tóibín “person-to-person,” Adams said that “all parties, all sectors of society have difficulties with these issues, and Sinn Féin reflects that, but we’ll deal with that.”

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said that it was “entirely wrong” for people  to say that the motion did not have the support of the party.