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Primate of All Ireland calls for referendum in abortion debate

The primate of All Ireland has appealed for calm and reasoned discussion on the issue of abortion and said the Church believes a referendum is possibly the only solution on dealing with the controversial issue.

Cardinal Seán Brady said he wants people to listen to each other and accept the arguments being made in debates. He warned, however, that the Church will oppose any attempt to legislate abortion through a media campaign and by lobbying public representatives and providing resources to priests to preach on the topic.

“We would want to inform people of the ills of abortion,” Cardinal Brady said.

A 14-member expert group on abortion is due to report back to Irish Health Minister James Reilly on the implications of a 2010 European Court of Human Rights ruling on Irish abortion laws. It found the state had failed to implement existing rights to lawful abortion where a mother’s life is at risk, and that the state violated the rights of a woman with cancer who said she was forced to travel abroad to obtain an abortion.

The government has also been called on to legislate for abortion in special circumstances as dictated by the 20-year-old ‘X case’ Supreme Court ruling and allow abortion if the life of the mother or unborn child is under threat.

 

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