By Mary Kate Hickey
A bill proposing a referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment, and allowing for legislation on abortion, went up for debate before Dáil Éireann on Tuesday.
Ruth Coppinger accused “sell-out Independents” of “putting their ministerial seats before the health and lives of women.”
The AAA-PBP (Anti Austerity Alliance – People Before Profit) bill was particularly critical of Independent TD Katherine Zappone. Zappone was elected due to her links to the marriage referendum, and the repeal of Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws.
TD Bríd Smith brought abortion pills with her into the chamber – which are illegal in Ireland – to use as a visual aid to her argument.
Smith started her speech by criticising the poor turn-out for the debate. With only 14 TDs showing up to discuss the Bill, she was not alone in criticising the attendance, and many citizens took to social media to voice their outrage. The hashtag #repealbill was among the top trending topics in Ireland during, and after, the debate taking place.