Irish Times
28 May 2012

WOMEN’S RIGHTS: A MOTION from a Waterford cumann stating that women should have the legal right to elective abortion “whatever the circumstances” was rejected by the ardfheis on Saturday.

A second motion from a Navan cumann stating that all Sinn Féin members should be allowed to articulate, campaign and vote on the issue of abortion according to their consciences was also defeated.

The Waterford motion also stated that while there were strong views on abortion within the party a “woman should ultimately have the right to make the decision where her health, physical or mental, and welfare are concerned”.

Oisín Ó Dubhlain, supporting this motion, said that 4,500 women went abroad from Ireland every year for abortions, which was a fact that spoke for itself.

He said women’s “bodily integrity and reproductive rights” were important in the struggle for women’s liberation. “A woman has a right to choose,” he said.

Ahead of the ardfheis Donegal TD Pearse Doherty said the party’s position was that it opposed abortion but that the Government should legislate for the X Case where abortion can take place if a woman’s life was at risk because of pregnancy, including the risk of suicide.