Category: Archive

Independent TDs seek referendum on abortion

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN — The Irish government will be returning from its summer holidays to face increasing demands for a another pro-life constitutional amendment on abortion following the publication of the expected green paper later this year.

Two of the Independent TDs supporting the government, Wicklow’s Mildred Fox and Donegal’s Harry Blayney, both said last week that their backing for the minority coalition is contingent on another referendum taking place within the lifetime of the government.

In their election manifesto, Fianna Fail promised it would consult the people but the Progressive Democrats are opposed to another referendum

The independents’ call was backed at the weekend by the legal advisor to the Pro-Life group, Professor William Binchy, who said an Irish Marketing Survey poll carried out for them last month showed that 59 percent of people wanted another constitutional vote, 72 percent if the "don’t knows" are excluded.

Binchy welcomed the support from the independent TDs and said it had been very clear to them in polls they have carried out over seven years that there was a clear majority in favour of resolving the problem by a referendum.

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"They don’t want it dealt with by legislation, they don’t want to just simply leave it to political resolution in that unsatisfactory state of the law that it is in at the moment. People do want the

opportunity to reject abortion at a constitutional referendum.

"This is an issue where there is a democratic deficit. People do want their voice heard on the matter," he said.

The number of women going to England for abortions has risen to record levels in recent years.

"Nobody should be under any illusion that a prohibition on abortion in this country is going to stop that. What we are talking about here in the area of abortion is a whole question of values, a whole question of ideology.

"Abortion is a bad idea. It is an enthusiasm really only of the last generation and I think that Irish people could do well to contemplate that and to remember that the unborn child has a right to life which is entitled to be protected."

Binchy said the government should concentrate far greater resources on women with problem pregnancies.

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