Seanad debates

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018: Second Stage


10:30 am

Photo of Paul GavanPaul Gavan (Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

It is just not good enough. While I welcome that the review has been brought forward, from five years to three, we have already waited 35 years. Why should we wait another three years when most of us in this Chamber know that the issue of decriminalisation can and should be dealt with now?

I feel similarly about the three-day provision. I understand the politics around it. We are dealing with two deeply conservative parties effectively in government at present. There should also be leeway to try and create some more flexibility in relation to those three days. I would appeal to colleagues across the Chamber to work constructively with us to get that done.

Let us do the very best we can for the women of Ireland who have waited for far too long for recognition and justice. In years to come, we will look on that time between 1983 and this year as one of the darkest periods of our history. It is hard to believe that Government after Government sat on their hands and did nothing about it. However, today is a day to recognise the progress that we have made through co-operation and partnership across the political spectrum. Let us hope it continues. Let us all work together. Let us pass this Bill but let us make it better before we make it pass.


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