Irish voters urged to consider positions on abortions by pro-life rally

Irish voters have been urged to consider where parties stand on abortion as they go to polling stations this year.

Local government and European elections are set to take place in 2024, while the next general election could be later this year or next spring.

Crowds turned out in Dublin on Monday for the annual March for Life.

EilIs Mulroy, of the Pro Life Campaign, addressed the event at Molesworth Street.

She said the campaign will be publishing a “comprehensive voter guide” in the coming weeks, which she contended “will serve as an invaluable guide to pro-life voters when deciding how to cast their vote in the upcoming elections”.

Ms Mulroy also claimed that the number of terminations being carried out in Ireland is “soaring” based on recent answers to parliamentary questions regarding reimbursements made to abortion providers in 2023.

She described this as “devastating“ and said that efforts made between now and election day to encourage people to “think pro-life” before they vote.

The rally took place amid an ongoing political row over stalled recommendations of an independent review of Ireland’s abortion laws.

Barrister Marie O’Shea was commissioned by the Department of Health in 2022 to conduct a review of the legislation that was introduced after the country voted to liberalise the abortion regime in the landmark Eighth Amendment referendum of 2018.

In her 2023 review report, Ms O’Shea made a series of recommendations. However, more than a year on, many of the most significant proposals are yet to be implemented.

Among the recommendations proposed by the barrister is the removal of a mandatory three-day waiting period between a woman’s initial medical consultation and her being given access to abortion treatment or medication.

The review also recommends the threat of criminal sanction is removed for medics found to have acted outside the provisions of the abortion legislation, and that the HSE is given the ability to ensure the provision of services is not disrupted due to issues around conscientious objections held by healthcare staff.

Ms O’Shea also urged a review of the legislative definition related to abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly continues to consider the review ahead of presenting final proposals to cabinet.

Taoiseach Simon Harris has insisted that any proposals to change Ireland’s abortion laws must be given “careful consideration”.

He has said examination of the O’Shea recommendations needs to be treated with the “same sensitivity” as the debate around the Eighth Amendment referendum.

Mr Harris has said he wants to “respect” the diversity of views on the issue and “bring forth consensus”.

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –