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GALLERY: Protesters oppose proposed new abortion bill

Youth Defence, Life Institute and Precious Life gathered at Leinster House to proposed legislation for the result of the X Case.

OVER 100 WOMEN and children gathered outside Leinster House today to protest plans to introduce legislation permitting abortion in certain circumstances.

The demonstration – organised by Youth Defence, Life Institute and Precious Life – was in protest at a Bill brought forward by socialist TD Clare Daly and independent Mick Wallace, which is due to be discussed next week.

Their legislation intends to allow abortions in circumstances where proceeding with the pregnancy would put the life of the mother in danger, including in circumstances where the mother is at risk of suicide.

Abortion in those circumstances was sanctioned by the Supreme Court in its ruling in the ‘X Case’ in 1992, but legislation permitting abortions in such circumstances has never been enacted – a matter criticised by the European Court of Human Rights in its ruling in A, B and C versus Ireland in 2010.

Life Institute spokeswoman Niamh Uí Bhriain argued, however, that “women and children deserve better than abortion”, and said statistics showed Ireland has the lowest rate of maternal mortality in the world – making it the safest place in the world in which to have a child.

GALLERY: Protesters oppose proposed new abortion bill
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  • Protests against new Abortion Bill

  • Protests against new Abortion Bill

  • Protests against new Abortion Bill

  • Protests against new Abortion Bill

  • Protests against new Abortion Bill

  • Protests against new Abortion Bill

  • Protests against new Abortion Bill

“Clare Daly and her cohorts were elected on an anti-austerity platform and they have no mandate to try and foist abortion on the Irish people,” Uí Bhriain said.

Among the demonstrators were women who had been treated for life-threatening medical conditions while pregnant. Opponents of the Bill point to recent research published in The Lancet showing that women can undergo treatment for breast cancer without needing an abortion.

The government has not indicated whether it will allow the Bill to be passed, commenting only to say it was awaiting the feedback of an expert group established by James Reilly in January to determine how to respond to the ECHR ruling.

This means the government parties will probably reject the Bill for now, and introduce their own similar Bill later in the year when the expert group reports back.

Debate on the Bill will be held next Tuesday and Wednesday, with a vote at 9pm on Wednesday evening.

Read: No interim measures in place to deal with life-threatening pregnancies

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Gavan Reilly

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