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Abortion Attitudes

10 October 2007

Senator Ivana Bacik: Will the deputy leader consider holding a debate on abortion, a topic of ongoing concern, particularly to women? Politicians have ignored and overlooked the topic. Governments have failed to legislate for abortion, particularly to provide for the circumstances in which an abortion may be carried out in line with the Supreme Court judgment in the X case, whereby continuing a pregnancy poses a real and substantial risk to a woman's life.

In a recent poll in The Irish Times 69% of women surveyed said they would favour the Government's legislating to provide for the X case circumstances. A total of 54% said they would like to see abortion legalised.

Last week, a senior Church of Ireland bishop justifiably criticised politicians for their spinelessness and hypocrisy in failing to face up to this issue. In respect of the X case in 1992, a Supreme Court judge was similarly critical of politicians for failing to legislate and leaving the matter to judges. In this context, I ask the deputy leader to try to face up to the collective cowardice of politicians regarding this issue and to consider holding a debate.