Abortion Law Is Rejected in Overwhelming Defeat
Byline: Niamh Lyons Political Correspondent
A BILL to allow abortion in limited circumstances has been overwhelmingly defeated in the Dail.
The bill was aimed at incorporating into law the Supreme Court's X case ruling which stated abortion was legal when the life of the mother was at risk.
Independent TDs Clare Daly, Mick Wallace and Joan Collins proposed the bill but it was defeated in the Dail yesterday by 109 votes to 20 after Government objection.
During the debate a number of conservative Fine Gael TDs expressed their disquiet about the proposed legislation.
In an extraordinary contribution, Mayo deputy Michelle Mulherin blamed 'fornication', or sex outside marriage, for the majority of unwanted pregnancies.
She said: 'In an ideal world there would be no unwanted pregnancies and no unwanted babies. But we are far from living in an ideal world.
'Fornication, I would say, is probably the single most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies in this country.' Miss Mulherin suggested women did not possess their 'personal physical integrity and sexuality' in the same manner that men do. She said she was against all types of abortion, adding that the 'grace of God is so liberating' it provided many options to get 'the best out of life despite our fallen nature'.
The bill was brought by the independent TDs to coincide with the 20th anniversary of 1992's landmark X case ruling that established abortion was lawful in limited circumstances where the mother's life was at risk.
The case centred around a 14-yearold girl who was raped by a neighbour.
She went to England for an abortion but the State got a High Court injunction preventing the termination.
The decision was overturned by the Supreme Court, although the girl miscarried before the abortion. …