Bill is what's best for Labour Party, not mother and child, says FG TD
FINE Gael TD Brian Walsh has accused his own government of coming up with an abortion bill which is best for the "Labour politician" rather than the mother and child.
The Galway West TD delivered a 20-minute speech criticising the bill, having already declared that he is going to vote against it.
He said abortion was not a treatment for women who were suicidal – and that it was wrong to have drawn up legislation based on a 1992 Supreme Court case when the world had changed since.
"What we have as a result is on the basis of what is best for the politician, the Labour politician in particular, rather than the mother and the child," he said.
Mr Walsh also criticised his Fine Gael party, saying it had allowed Justice Minister Alan Shatter to vote against the party whip on a hare coursing bill in 1992 but would not allow a free vote on the "welfare of women and children".
And he said he was under no illusion that his stance on the bill was popular or prudent.
"It's a decision for which I am likely to pay a heavy price," he said.
The continuing debate on the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill also showed the divisions in Fianna Fail, which is allowing its TDs a free vote.
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said he was a "pro-life legislator" who was supporting the bill because there was no legal framework to allow for abortions where there was a risk to the life of the mother.
But while Fianna Fail Clare TD Timmy Dooley agreed with him, Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath, Louth TD Seamus Kirk and Wexford TD John Browne all said they would be voting against it.