DUBLIN, July 4 ( – A split in the Church of Ireland will become apparent this week as a delegation from the church speaks to a government hearing on abortion. The Sunday Times reported that a recommendation from the church’s medical ethics committee that abortion be legalized in certain circumstances has been withdrawn after opposition from the church’s hierarchy and membership.

The three members of the Church of Ireland’s delegation to the government hearing will present different positions, one pro-life and the others pro-abortion to varying degrees. Demonstrating the split, the medical ethics committee submission which recommended legalizing abortion for incest and rape victims, and in genuine cases of threatened suicide by the mother, was narrowly voted down last month by delegates from the church membership. The annual synod in Belfast rejected the paper by 166 votes to 164.


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