Enda Kenny warns against ‘rush’ for abortion referendum

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has warned against a “rush” to have a referendum on abortion in the wake of the emphatic backing for marriage equality.

Mr Kenny’s caution was attacked by Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy who insisted the country had already waited too long for a fresh vote on the issue as he said 20,000 Irish women had been forced to travel abroad for terminations since this Government came to power four years ago.

Mr Murphy told the Dáil that the clear vote for extending civil marriage rights to same sex couples showed how profoundly Ireland has changed in recent years as he called for the Government to reflect the new reality.

The TD insisted the Coalition should act to remove the threat of being fired that hangs over teachers and medical workers in religious run institutions who happen to be gay or atheist.

Mr Murphy said the marriage equality victory was about more than gay rights and symbolised people demanding “a break with the oppression of the past”.

The Dublin TD said that repeal of the eighth amendment was needed “to end the barbaric situation where a woman who has chosen to terminate a crisis pregnancy — even in the tragic eventuality of fatal foetal abnormality — or a doctor, or anybody else who helped her could be jailed for 14 years.”

Mr Kenny said he did not support “abortion on demand” as he insisted there would be no referendum on any aspect of the laws regarding termination before the general election which must be held by next spring.

The Taoiseach said the issue of abortion was much more complex than same-sex marriage.

“We’re not going to be rushed into considering these matters because we have just had a referendum with a positive outcome.”

DISCOVER MORE CONTENT LIKE THIS

More on this topic

How a brave few are breaking Ireland’s abortion tabooHow a brave few are breaking Ireland’s abortion taboo

UN says UK violates women's human rights by criminalising abortions in Northern IrelandUN says UK violates women's human rights by criminalising abortions in Northern Ireland

Women march in Poland to demand Abortion rightsWomen march in Poland to demand Abortion rights

Readers' Blog: Pro-abortion agenda affected 8th committeeReaders' Blog: Pro-abortion agenda affected 8th committee


Lifestyle

I see that a website describes the call of Canarian cory’s shearwaters as ‘waca waca’. It’s a mad, hysterical call, uttered when the parent birds arrive to feed their nestlings.Cory’s shearwaters show long-distance qualities

Is it too much to hope that an important public health matter, such as Lyme disease, will be an issue in the general election? There’s been a worrying reluctance by the authorities to face up to the extent of the disease here.Facing up to Lyme disease

A paper published in Current Biology examines the extinction of a colourful little bird which, until recently, thrived in the eastern US. With the appalling environmental catastrophe enveloping Australia, home to 56 of the world’s 370 parrot species, this account of the Carolina parakeet’s demise is timely.Trying to save the parrot is not all talk

The recent rescue of a trawler 20km north of Fanad Head in Co Donegal gave us a glimpse of the enormous seas that occasionally strike that part of the coast.Islands of Ireland: Inishbeg Island begs the question

More From The Irish Examiner