How Liberal Was Cosgrave's Coalition's Family Planning Bill?

SlickWilly

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I don't know anything of the actual bill, but I do know, liberalising contraception laws was part of the programme for government and that Taoiseach Cosgrave wrestled with his conscience and voted against it in the Dail, to be followed by a troop of Effing redneck blueshirts, waitng for him to bite, into the Nil lobby!
Let alone does his lack of cooperation on the Dublin-Monaghan bombings indicate that his pension and all extras should be withdrawn, that act should have been sufficient enough to do it!
 


LiberalFG

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Obviously I entirely disagree with his views on the matter and have a general disdain for the Conservative elements of FG, but one has to admire how he stuck to his guns and went against his own government.
 

True Republican

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Obviously I entirely disagree with his views on the matter and have a general disdain for the Conservative elements of FG, but one has to admire how he stuck to his guns and went against his own government.
Although obviously I'm in favour of contraception FG does need to have some conservative policies.
 

Expose the lot of them

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Was it part of their program for government or was it forced on them by EU laws ? I've read that it was the latter.
I don't think it had anything to do with the EU, if it had been it would have to have been transposed into Irish law. I think the rationale was that there was an active campaign to legalise contraception at the time and there was also the requirement to transpose the Supreme Court Decision in the McGee case into Irish law.

See McGee v. A.G. & Anor [1973] IESC 2; [1974] IR 284 (19 December 1973) for details
 

Mitsui2

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The most "liberal" thing about "Cosgrave's" contraception bill was that it proposed any legislation at all beyond an outright ban - that would have been the only thing acceptable to the medieval mindset that informed the upper echelons of Irish Catholic society at the time. Remember this was only 25 years (if that) after the Hierarchy had demanded a ban on tampons for fear that they might "excite" innocent young girls - and to that mindset, 25 years is a very short time.
 

Cruimh

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I don't think it had anything to do with the EU, if it had been it would have to have been transposed into Irish law. I think the rationale was that there was an active campaign to legalise contraception at the time and there was also the requirement to transpose the Supreme Court Decision in the McGee case into Irish law.

See McGee v. A.G. & Anor [1973] IESC 2; [1974] IR 284 (19 December 1973) for details
Ah - I think you are right - I was misremembering, the McGee case.
 

Rocky

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I have no idea what was actually in the bill. My knowledge of Fine Gael under Cosgrave, wouldn't be what it is on the earlier years of the party. However if you could find a date for the bill, you could find the speeches etc. made on the bill on the Oireacthas website.
 

Expose the lot of them

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In the wake of the McGee judgement Patrick Cooney, the Minister for Justice, introduced the Family Planning Bill, 1974. I have been unable to source a copy of the bill but as far as I remember is was pretty restrictive and its aim was to do the minimum to legalise contraceptives in line with the judgement. I stand to be corrected here but I think, like the later Haughey bill, availability would be limited to married couples for what was described as “bona fide” family planning purposes. Fianna Fáil opposed any liberalisation of the law on family planning and fought the measure in the Dáil on grounds of protection of public morality and health. Cosgrave, who was an ultra conservative roman catholic voted against his own government’s bill.

Following are some links to the debates.
Family Planning Bill, 1974: First Stage - Tuesday, 17 December 1974 Seanad Eireann - 17/Dec/1974 Family Planning Bill, 1974: First Stage.

Family Planning Bill, 1973: Second Stage - Wednesday, 20 February 1974
Seanad Eireann - 20/Feb/1974 Family Planning Bill, 1973: Second Stage.

Family Planning Bill, 1973: Second Stage (Resumed) - Wednesday, 27 March 1974
http://debates.oireachtas.ie/seanad/1974/03/27/00005.asp

Fianna Fáil came to power after the 1977 election, with Charlie Haughey as Minister for Health, he was responsible for the Health (Family Planning) Act, 1979, which allowed contraceptives to be made available, by medical prescription only (this included non-medical contraceptives such as condoms and spermicide) and limited to married couples. There was an opt out clause for doctors and chemists who had moral objections to writing or filling prescriptions. Haughey famously described this Act as an Irish solution to an Irish problem.

I am not sure under what legislation the sale and distribution of contraceptives was finally liberalised.
 

Neilob

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Doesn't really matter, the Taoiseach shocked his own party by voting against it in the Lobbies.
 

Neilob

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The most "liberal" thing about "Cosgrave's" contraception bill was that it proposed any legislation at all beyond an outright ban - that would have been the only thing acceptable to the medieval mindset that informed the upper echelons of Irish Catholic society at the time. Remember this was only 25 years (if that) after the Hierarchy had demanded a ban on tampons for fear that they might "excite" innocent young girls - and to that mindset, 25 years is a very short time.
I believe the exact phrase of Archbishop McQuaid was 'stimulate'. We all know he was exceptionally expert in all things Gynaecological considering his intervention in the Mother and Child Scheme.
 


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