Letter: Legislating for abortion - Irish Times Wednesday May 21st 2008
Madam, - This week the law governing abortion for Irish women faces a crucial vote on whether to reduce the cut-off period from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. The fact that this vote will take place in the parliament of the United Kingdom once again highlights the political establishment's inaction on the issue of abortion.
To be fair to the former Tánaiste, Minister for Justice and Attorney General Michael McDowell, he at least put forward an amendment to the Constitution which the people rejected in 2002. However, the time has now come to put in place legislation to deal with the issue.
It is estimated that 5,000 Irish women travel to the UK every year to have abortions. We can continue to allow UK politicians to decide the conditions under which these women face their terrible ordeal or we can do the right thing by the women of Ireland and decide on abortion laws ourselves.
It is time to drop the political mantra about abortion being "too divisive" for Irish people to debate. Politics should be about taking action and making decisions. The Irish women forced to travel to the UK deserve that at least. - Yours, etc,
Cllr JOHN KENNY