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Irish deputy prime minister disagrees with Pope's stand against legal abortion

January 08, 2013

Ireland’s deputy prime minister has said that he disagrees with Pope Benedict XVI’s opposition to legal abortion.

Eamon Gilmore said that in his annual address to the Vatican diplomatic corps, when he voiced his opposition to laws allowing broader access to abortion, “what the Pope was expressing was the long established and well known view of his Church.” But the Irish leader claimed that Irish women “are entitled to legal clarity about their situation where their life is at risk.” (Actually, existing Irish law allows for the termination of pregnancy in cases in which the mother’s life is endangered.)

In his “State of the World” address, the Pope expressed general concern about countries, especially in Europe, where “efforts are being made to introduce or expand legislation which decriminalizes abortion.” Although he did not refer specifically to Ireland, political leaders in Dublin seem convinced that the Pope was referring to the government’s plan to broaden access to legal abortion.


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