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Saturday 9 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C

Abortion bill debate could go on until 5am

The vote passed by 103 votes to 54 – but Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said it reduced the situation to a ‘farce’.


TDS COULD END up debating the abortion bill until 5am tomorrow – and not all of them are happy about it.

Following a proposal from the Government Chief Whip just before 10pm tonight, the TDs voted to sit after midnight and adjourn no later than 5am.

The TDs are currently debating the 165 tabled amendments on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 in advance of the final vote.

The vote to prolong the debate was passed by 103 votes to 54, and some TDs were very unhappy at the news. Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin appeared to be furious, saying that there was no consultation with the opposition whips on the ‘farcical’ motion.

He said it had reduced the situation to a “farce”, and that it is “wrong of the Government to do this”.

“There is no national emergency here”, said Martin, adding that “it doesn’t do justice to the issue”.

Fianna Fáil Deputy Eamon Ó Cúiv said that he couldn’t understand why it was not adjourned, adding that there was no imperative to vote on the bill tonight.

Deputy Gerry Adams said that his party Sinn Féin had discussed the issue, and that there were a lot of women present who had children and who had been in Leinster House since 7.30am.

He added: “It is a big argument for changing the way we work this institution.”

Already this evening we have seen some unexpected events – six pro-choice TDs announced that they will be voting against the bill, in a move that took many by surprise.

LIVE: Dáil debates abortion bill before final vote>

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