Thursday, 13 December 2018
Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018: Report and Final Stages
It is a momentous day. It is an historic day. It is a day that I am humbled and proud to be a part of. There are so many people I want to thank that it will not be possible to thank them all. I begin by thanking the Cathaoirleach for the way in which he has chaired this debate with fairness and impartiality throughout recent days. I thank the Members of Seanad Éireann for the diligence with which they have gone about their business in scrutinising this law. I have had the pleasure of being through this process twice, both in the Dáil and in the Seanad. It has certainly been an interesting few days here in Seanad Éireann as we teased through many very important issues. I thank Members for their courtesy in how they went about that.
I particularly thank those Members of the Seanad who played a role in the Oireachtas all-party committee, the foundation that really enabled us to put a concrete proposal to the people, not just asking them to vote "Yes" or "No" in a vacuum, but asking them to vote "Yes" and being able to paint a picture of what that new Ireland would look like in terms of caring for women with compassion in our own country.
I particularly thank my colleague and friend, Senator Noone, for her leadership in chairing that committee with the efficiency, courtesy and intelligence with which she goes about all of her business. I thank my officials in the Department of Health who have worked so hard on this issue for such a long period.