Inaugural meeting of Irish Citizens’ Assembly to consider legal restrictions on abortion

The inaugural meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly has decided to hold four weekend-long meetings on the constitutional restrictions on abortion before submitting a report to legislators. The 99 ordinary assembly members were chosen by a polling company to be broadly representative of the electorate, chaired by Judge Mary Laffoy. Judge Laffoy told the assembly that abortion is a particularly sensitive and contentious issue and pledged that openness will be an underlying feature of their work.The Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the issues the assembly will be discussing are “beyond party politics…deeply complex, hugely challenging and profoundly ethical”. Further, he said: “We chose to go about our business in this way so that as a nation and a society we could move from a position of contention, even contempt and find valuable consensus”, and their work “in addressing and achieving this vital consensus on behalf of us all will affect – indeed profoundly affect – how we live our individual lives and our national life in the Republic of Ireland in the years to come”.SOURCE + PHOTO: RTE, 15 October 2016