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19th Oct 2017

Committee votes overwhelmingly against keeping eighth amendment

The vote was held last night.

Jade Hayden


 The Oireachtas committee that has been discussing Ireland’s abortion laws for some time has voted overwhelmingly against retaining the eighth amendment.

The cross-party committee voted last night after some discussion and debate among themselves about the future of the country’s strict abortion laws.

As it stands, at least 10 women a day leave Ireland to procure an abortion.

The committee held a public vote in which each member stated whether they were in favour or against the recommendation that had been put forward by the Citizens’ Assembly over the summer.

The assembly had recommended that women should have access to abortion services up until 12 weeks’ gestation.

The following members of the committee (15) voted in favour: 

  • Ruth Coppinger – Solidarity-People Before Profit
  • Jerry Buttimer – Fine Gael
  • Clare Daly – Independents4Change
  • Paul Gavan – Sinn Féin
  • Jan O’Sullivan – Labour
  • Lisa Chambers – Fianna Fáil
  • Lynn Ruane – Independent
  • Hildegarde Naughton – Fine Gael
  • Jonathan O’Brien – Sinn Féin
  • Bernard Durkan – Fine Gael
  • Catherine Noone – Fine Gael
  • Kate O’Connell – Fine Gael
  • Louise O’Reilly – Sinn Féin
  • Billy Kelleher – Fianna Fáil
  • Catherine Murphy – Social Democrats

The following (3) voted against: 

  • Ronan Mullen – Independent
  • Peter Fitzpatrick – Fine Gael
  • Mattie McGrath – Independent

The following (2) abstained from the vote:

  • Anne Rabbitte – Fianna Fáil
  • James Browne – Fianna Fáil

And Fianna Fáil’s Ned O’Sullivan did not attend.

The committee will now consider what recommendation to give the government later this year concerning the options for next year’s abortion referendum.

It includes repealing the eighth amendment, repealing the eighth amendment while legislating, repealing the eighth amendment and replacing it with something else, and other potential options.