Politicians seek to block Irish president from signing abortion bill
Pro-life groups try to gather momentum for nationwide vote
A government party member of the Irish parliament is leading the attempt to force the President of Ireland to call a referendum on plans to legislate for abortion.
Labour Party deputy Colm Keaveney is in discussions with politicians from all parties in a bid to get enough support to enforce a constitutional provision to force a referendum on the Bill.
One website, Irish online radio, has claimed that Keaveney’s plan already enjoys the support of 39 members of the Irish parliament and 24 senators.
And Keaveney has vowed to press ahead with plans to activate the referendum despite his calls being dismissed by government ministers Brian Hayes and Leo Varadkar.
Keaveney has confirmed to another website, TheJournal.ie, that he has been involved in ‘an informal process’ with a group of cross-party deputies about the proposed legislation which will allow abortion in Ireland in specific circumstances.
He said: “It is fair to say that discussions are taking place for deputies whose consciences are struggling under the grip of the whip system.
“We’ve been working within an informal process with both pro-life and pro-choice TDs (deputies) who have major ethical and other issues with the bill.
“It is based around a group of like-minded TDs who have concerns about the legislation, as is.”
Reports on Sunday claimed that a number of Fine Gael, Labour, Sinn Féin and Independent TDs plan to use Article 27 of the Constitution to ensure the public is asked to vote on whether it approves of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 before it is signed into law.
Keaveney, who lost the party whip after voting against changes to respite care last year, has declined to say how many deputies and Senators are involved in the process.
But he added: “It is my firm belief that the only appropriate course of action is to ascertain the people’s view.
“Currently, it is about information sharing and putting the preliminary groundwork in place. A lot of deputies were surprised this was available to them.
“It is not a Constitutional referendum. It is a yes/no on the Bill itself.”
Keaveney plans to hold a series of meetings before the parliament’s summer break in a fortnight.
He added: “I don’t understand why anybody would be afraid to engage democratically with its citizens.”
However Junior Minister Brian Hayes has dismissed the calls for a referendum on the Bill, stating that two referenda have already been held on the abortion issue in the past two decades.
Hayes said: “People have already rejected previous governments’ contentions that the X Case ruling shouldn’t apply.”
Opponents to the proposed abortion bill need 55 deputies and 30 senators to sign a petition enabling them to ask President Michael D Higgins to rule on the matter under Article 27 of the Constitution.
- Irish radio presenter suspended after anti-Isra
- Obama relative gets personal special deal...
- Smithwick inquiry finds Irish police may...
- Amazing story of how Choctaw Indians raised...
- Married priests could well be Pope Francis'...
- Why Ireland needs to give its emigrants a...
- Sarah Jessica Parker opens her heart to grievin
- Pope Francis calls capitalism “new tyranny”...
- Most Americans are in favor of immigration...
- Amazing story of the Quakers and the Irish...
seanomelb! Spot on. Celtic Christianity was a vibrant sect, until the Church of Rome's Council of Cashel put a halt to their organic beliefs, like AngAmazing story of how Choctaw Indians raised money for Irish famine relief
ToryTory! You've obviously bough into colonial propaganda about its purpose being to civilise less developed nations and peoples, the benign intent hyIrish radio presenter suspended after anti-Israeli comments aired on show
Dear Irish Justice, Equality and Defence (JED) Minister! As a citizen of the 26 county republiquette, I respectfully request that you use your good ofIrish radio presenter suspended after anti-Israeli comments aired on show
Dear Irish Justice, Equality and Defence (JED) Minister Alan Shatter! As a citizen of the 26 county republiquette, I respectfully request that you use