Few want to reopen the abortion debate – but it may be unavoidable

This week’s review by Marie O’Shea revealed a patchwork system that is not providing equal access to everyone

Supporters gather at Dublin Castle for the result of the referendum on the 8th amendment on May 26, 2018 – a ‘resounding’ victory for the Yes campaign. Picture: Getty

As Stephen Donnelly published the review into abortion services last week, he called for a “solid, reasoned, respectful debate” on any proposed changes to the law.

The Minister for Health’s call was nervously anchored in the knowledge that discussing abortion in Ireland has the potential to descend into anything but reasoned or respectful debate.

When the fractious referendum to remove the prohibition on abortion from the constitution was passed in 2018, and subsequently the Health ...