Dáil debate on X Case Bill adjourned for the night

Wednesday 28 November 2012 10.41
Clarw Daly said the bill was the 'basis of the legislation needed'
Clarw Daly said the bill was the 'basis of the legislation needed'

The debate on a Private Members' Bill legislating for the X Case has been adjourned for the night.

The Dáil will vote on the bill tomorrow night.

United Left Alliance TD Clare Daly, who put forward the bill, said it could be amended at a later stage to take account of the recommendations of the Expert Group on Abortion.

The 58-page report, commissioned after a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights, does not come down in favour of any one of four options, but legislation with regulation is the only one described as "constitutionally, legally, and procedurally sound".

Deputy Daly said the bill was the basis of the legislation needed. She said it was not perfect, it was a start.

She said if a start was not made right now, then the tragic grey area that women and medical people have to deal with, will persist. 

She said it was a scandal that the House cannot move to deal with medical procedures.

It was the second bill to legislate for the X Case that Ms Daly has put forward this year. She said the original Bill had been amended to deal with the problems highlighted by Government last April.

Deputy Daly said the bill allowed for consciousness objection on the part of a medical practitioner.

She also said the Medical Treatment (Termination of Pregnancy in Case of Risk to Life of Pregnant Woman) Bill, would provide the interim legislation required by the Council of Europe.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said the bill before the House was defective, and did not deal well enough with certain key issues.

He said it does not require that medical practitioners ensure the life of the unborn be safeguarded as much as possible.

The minister said now that the Expert Group report is published, decisions will be made and the situation will be addressed. That commitment, he said, had been given by Government.

He asked Deputy Daly to withdraw the bill, and not call a vote on it. 2022

Mr Shatter said women and medical practitioners have a right to know where they stand, and, he added, the Government was committed to creating this certainty.

He said the Coalition was not considering providing for “abortion on demand”.