Saturday 27 December 2014

Abortion law 'absurd', warns rebel

Published 19/06/2013 | 14:12

Enda Kenny may have to revise threats that Fine Gael TDs who vote against abortion legislation will be excluded from the party, Brian Walsh said
A rebel Government TD has claimed new abortion laws are based on absurd notions and nonsense that could lead to widespread demand
Enda Kenny may have to revise threats that Fine Gael TDs who vote against abortion legislation will be excluded from the party, Brian Walsh said

A rebel Government TD has claimed new abortion laws are based on absurd notions and nonsense that could lead to widespread demand.

Fine Gael's Brian Walsh - the third party member to announce he will vote against the legislation - also warned up to 10 of his colleagues will do the same.

"We now appear poised to enact legislation based on absurd premise that the suicidality of one human being can be abated by the death of another. This is medico-legal nonsense and a principle that I cannot support," Mr Walsh said.

The Galway West TD said he believes opposition within his Fine Gael to the contentious reforms is bigger than had been anticipated.

He accused the Government of designing parts of the legislation - particularly the inclusion of a clause to allow a pregnant and suicidal woman the right to an abortion - to suit the politician, rather than the mother and the child.

"Psychiatrists stated unequivocally that abortion is not an appropriate course of action in the treatment of the patient presenting with suicidal ideation," he said in a statement.

"In fact, there is compelling evidence to suggest that the provision of abortion in such circumstances poses a greater risk to a woman's mental health than it would seek to negate.

"In framing the proposed legislation, the Government has completely ignored that evidence and has come up with a Bill that has been shaped by political considerations rather than empirical clinical evidence."

Fine Gael TD Peter Mathews and Senator Fidelma Healy Eames have already said they will not support the legislation as it stands.

The suicide element has sparked massive division among politicians and medics, in particular psychiatrists. The legislation, which was published in full last week, is expected to be passed by the time the Dail breaks for the summer.

Press Association

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