Conscientious objection becomes issue in Ireland

Enda Kenny, the Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland, has declared that all members of his Fine Gael party must support the new abortion law being proposed by the government.  All must follow the party line; none will be allowed to vote according to conscience.

“Conscience objection doesn’t absolve people from responsibility,” he said, saying members would be expected “to act and vote in accordance with the decisions of the party.”  [The Journal]

The proposed law is a response to world-wide controversy over the death of a woman at a hospital in Galway in October, 2012.  (See A “medical misadventure” in Ireland)


One thought on “Conscientious objection becomes issue in Ireland”

  1. While denying members of parliament the freedom to vote their conscience is common practice in parliamentary systems, it is less so in the case of morally contentious issues. What is remarkable here is Mr. Kenny’s apparent belief that being “responsible” means “following orders”, even at the cost of one’s personal integrity. His attitude does not bode well for health care workers who object to morally contested procedures for reasons of conscience.

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