Simon Harris: Abortion legislation 'will be before Dáil next Thursday'

Simon Harris:  Abortion legislation 'will be before Dáil next Thursday'
Kate O'Connell with Simon Harris, Katherine Zappone and Catherine Noone during today's March for Choice rally in Dublin. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said that legislation to introduce abortion services will be brought before the Dáil on Thursday and he hopes to have services available by the beginning of next year.

He was speaking at a March for Choice rally in Dublin this afternoon.

Organisers at today's rally pointed to the fact that despite May's vote, women continue to travel to the UK to seek terminations.

When pressed on the fact that services remain unavailable four months later, Minister Harris said that it is important to get things right.

"Well, it's a matter of making sure we get things done in a time efficient manner but also making sure that we get it right," he said.

"I want to work with colleagues in the Oireachtas and I want to work with medical practitioners to make sure we get this right.

"We will introduce the legislation next Thursday in the Dáil, I will meet with medical stakeholders next Tuesday in my department, and I expect we will have the services introduced in Ireland by 2019."

In response to Minister Harris' plans to bring the legislation to the Dail next week, the Pro Life campaign him of railroading abortion proposals through the Oireachtas.

Also speaking at today's March for Choice, Eilís Mulroy of the Pro Life Campaign said Minister Harris was reneging on a commitment to provide enough time to debate the legislation.

"Minister Harris promised during the referendum campaign that there would be 'ample time' to debate the provisions of the abortion legislation," she said.

Like so many of the other promises Mr Harris has made, he is now reneging on that commitment so he can railroad his proposal through the Dáil.

"It is clear that he and other supporters of the repeal campaign are uneasy about letting the public know too much about what the abortion legislation entails. No matter how much the Government and others try to censor that debate, the truth will get out about the injustice and extreme nature of the Governments' abortion proposal."

Digital Desk

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