Dáil votes down 'Apartheid-era' amendment in abortion debate

Dáil votes down 'Apartheid-era' amendment in abortion debate

The Dáil has voted down an amendment to the proposed abortion legislation that has been compared to "an Apartheid-era law".

The proposal from a group of pro-life TDs called for medical staff to report a variety of information about a woman when she seeks a termination.

The data would include ethnicity, marital status and any previous abortions, still-births over 24 weeks, spontaneous miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and previous terminations.

The Independent deputy Peadar Tóibín argued that doctors in the UK collect a document and they use the data for research, policy development and to "understand what's happening in the system".

Labour's Joan Burton said the proposal was offensive.

Ms Burton said: "I think the deputies should seriously consider withdrawing this amendment because it is needlessly offensive.

"To be perfectly honest, it owes more to the language of South Africa before the ending of Apartheid than it does to Ireland in this day and age."

The Social Democrats Co-Leader Catherine Murphy said it was not about public health policy, but about making women feel guilty.

She said: "It's objectionable and it's been tabled for all the wrong reasons".

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