Further to a letter yesterday from President Michael D Higgins to the Ceann Comhairle expressing concerns over the volume of legislation being sent for his signature…
In response, the Ceann Comhairle and the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad told the President they understand and appreciate his concerns.
They were convening a meeting of the Dáil’s Business Committee and the Seanad’s Committee on Procedure at 2pm today.
Duncan Smith, who will attend that meeting for the Labour Party, said he welcomed the President’s intervention and that the issue of condensing legislation must be addressed.
Cian O’Callaghan of the Social Democrats said it should not take an intervention from the President to realise that ramming through legislation at the last minute is no way to treat the democratic process.
Politicians consider President’s legislation concerns (RTÉ)
Labour Senator Ivana Bacik, who has co-sponsored recent bills on reproductive leave and period products which omit the words ‘woman’ and ‘mother’
Further to removal of the word “mother” from seven Acts of Irish legislation and the omission of the words “women” and “mother” from proposed pieces of legislation affecting women: the Organisation of Working Time (Reproductive Health Related Leave) and the Free Provision of Period Products Bills….
Via Irish Times Letters:
Euphemisms for menstruation were common when women’s reproductive business was considered unmentionable and slightly shameful. It’s good that we’ve matured to the point of recognising the significance and importance of openly and correctly naming things for what they are.
However, something else is happening which is quite sinister. The euphemisms have moved from the word “period” to the word “woman”.
The word “woman” does not appear once in either of the Bills. It is replaced by “anyone”, “everyone” and “people”. None of the female Fianna Fáil or Labour Senators contacted seem to know why or where the word went, although it must have been deliberately excluded.
Labour’s Ivana Bacik had no difficulty referring to women and girls in 2019 when she raised the issue of period poverty in the Seanad as she used both throughout her speech.
When contacted, neither she nor any of her female Seanad colleagues answered my question – why are you deliberately excluding the word “woman”?
Women need the word women. We are a distinct biological and political class who are oppressed on the basis of our sex. Language matters. Labour and Fianna Fáil must do better.
Irish Times Letters
Emergency legislation – The Health Preservation and other Emergency Measures Bill – will be passed in the Dáil.
The title of the bill states:
“An Act, to make exceptional provision, in the public interest and having regard to the manifest and grave risk to human life and public health posed by the spread of Covid-19 and in order to mitigate, where practicable, the effect of the spread of Covid-19, to amend the Health Act 1947 to make provision for the Minister for Health to make regulations prohibiting or restricting the holding of certain events, access to certain premises and to provide for enforcement measures; to provide for powers for certain medical officers of health to order, in certain circumstances, the detention of persons who are suspected to be possible sources of infection of Covid-19 and to provide for enforcement measures in that regard; and to confer on the Minister for Health the power to designate areas as areas of infection of Covid-19 and to provide for related matters; to amend and extend the Social Welfare Acts to provide for amendments in relation to entitlement to illness benefit for persons who have been diagnosed with, or are a probable source of infection of, Covid19; and to provide for amendments in relation to jobseeker’s benefit and jobseeker’s allowance to mitigate the economic effects of the spread of Covid-19; and to provide for related matters.”
The bill can be read in full here
Reduced Dáil gathering to pass emergency legislation (RTÉ)
Siobhán Fenton tweetz:
A rare sight here at Stormont, where there hasn’t been a government for almost three years.
Politicians enter the chamber in a bid to block the legalisation of abortion and equal marriage, due to be legalised tonight.
The DUP have now walked out of the chamber.
Leader Arlene Foster tells press “It’s a very sad day” and a “critical matter for the lives of the unborn… an issue of life and death”.
Concedes reform is likely to go ahead tonight but says party are exploring other legal options.
Abortion law: NI politicians return to Stormont (BBC)
Pics: Siobhán Fenton
The Government will have legislated for the X case.
According to RTÉ, this rough date has been relayed by the Irish Government to the Council of Europe’s committee of ministers. The committee oversees how EU states comply with judgments set down by the European Court of Human Rights.
The move follows the A,B,C vs Ireland case at the ECHR.
Government to enact X case legislation by end of July, RTÉ
(Pic: Oona Tully)
The Abortion Rights Campaign.
Today at the Teacher’s Club, Parnell Square, Dublin.
From the Irish Choice Network website:
(Thanks Cathie Doherty, Sarah Lounsey Malone and Andrew Flood)
(Above: Seana Stafford and her 13-week-old son James and Stephanie McNamee outside the Dail during a Pro Life Campaign vigil last night)
Minister for Health James Reilly last night emphasised that “legislation supported by regulations will inform us to ensure that suicide will not be abused as it is perceived to be in other jurisdictions”.
Up to 20 Fine Gael TDs have raised doubts in recent months about the inclusion in any legislation of the threat of suicide as a ground for abortion. They include minister of state Lucinda Creighton; John O’Mahony; James Bannon; John Paul Phelan; Regina Doherty and Patrick O’Donovan.
Concerns of Fine Gael TDs were fanned by the Labour Party issuing six press statements from its TDs following the Government announcement, one of which claimed it represented a “victory” for the party. Fine Gael issued no statement.
Dr Reilly dismissed the contention that it was a victory for Labour, asserting there had been consensus around the Cabinet table. “What we are looking for is a victory for the women of Ireland,” he said.
(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)
(Above: Justine Murphy and Katherine Foyle perform re-worded C Case Carols outside the GPO in Dublin on Sunday)
The Cabinet will announce today that a combination of legislation and regulations will be required to comply with the Supreme Court decision on abortion in the X case.
The decision to follow this route – the fourth option from the expert group on abortion – will result in a legislative framework that will adhere to the key 1992 ruling, a senior source confirmed yesterday.
This is expected to allow the fear of suicide as a ground for abortion but may not provide for rape or sexual abuse, neither of which formed part of the X-case ruling. On foot of the decision, the Government is also expected to repeal provisions in the Offences against the State Act 1861, which criminalises abortion.
(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)