Irish abortion debate reflects growing church-state tensions

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Ruth Bowie and her husband Michael O'Shea (pictured here with their son Dougie) had to travel to England to seek an abortion.   RNS photo by Sarah Parvini

Ruth Bowie and her husband Michael O'Shea (pictured here with their son Dougie) had to travel to England to seek an abortion. RNS photo by Sarah Parvini

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DUBLIN, Ireland (RNS) Most European countries allow abortion on demand during the first trimester, but in Ireland, where there is still a palpable struggle between waning Catholic influence and an increasingly secular state, the friction between the two groups continues to escalate.