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The Catholic bishop of Elphin, Christopher Jones, will be among the religious representatives attending the Oireachtas committee today. James Horan/Photocall Ireland

Churches and lobby groups to address Oireachtas abortion hearings

The third and final day is a busy one, with pro-choice, pro-life and several faith groups all weighing in on abortion.

THE OIREACHTAS committee on Health and Children will hold its final day of hearings on the government’s proposed new abortion laws today.

The day, split into three separate hearings, will include submissions from pro-life and pro-choice groups, who will answer questions from TDs and Senators on what they believe the proposed legislation should contain.

The first of the day’s two-hour sessions will also include representatives from six religious groups and from the body representing Ireland’s atheist community.

The session will include two representatives from the Catholic Church, including the Bishop of Elphin, Christopher Jones; and two representatives from the Church of Ireland, including the Archbishop of Dublin, Michael Jackson.

There will also be two representatives from the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, and figures from the Methodist Church and the Islamic Cultural Centre.

In a late addition to the panel, Rabbi Zalman Lent, the leader of the Jewish community in Dublin, will also be present. The panel is completed by Michael Nugent, the chairperson of Atheist Ireland.

The mid-morning session will include representatives from the Pro-Life Campaign, Youth Defence, Family and Life and the Iona Institute, each of whom will outline their concerns about legislation which could deny unborn children their right to life.

Later, representatives from the National Women’s Council of Ireland, Choice Ireland and the Action on X group will put forward their case for a liberalisation of Ireland’s current rules. will carry a live stream and liveblog of the day’s events from 9:30am.

The hearings so far: 10 interesting moments from Day One and Day Two

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