Abortion laws nearing passage in Ireland…and Texas

The abortion question remains as contentious as ever in capitals as different as Dublin and Austin.

In Ireland, the “Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013” that liberalizes the procedure is nearing passage in the Dail. Several TD’s have bolted from their party leadership to vote against amendments to the the bill, a signal of the final vote, but it appears there is not enough support to defeat the proposed changes to Ireland’s longstanding abortion ban.

Texas legislators are also holding marathon meetings to pass a bill that places tougher new restrictions on abortion. It’s the second such session in a month after pro-choice protesters turned back an earlier effort.

In both places the abortion debate is marked by bitter words and other protest inside and outside the legislative chambers. Such contentiousness has been a fixture in America since the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. Debate over abortion isn’t entirely new in Ireland, but the likely passage of the current bill will take the cultural and political divisiveness to an uglier level.

The issue will not leave the headlines after lawmakers adjourn.