Sunday 22 October 2017

Creighton: Abortion is not a treatment for anything

Fionnan Sheahan and Michael Brennan

Lucinda Creighton has reiterated her staunch opposition to the suicide clause in the abortion legislation and outlined an alternative of providing care for a pregnant woman feeling suicidal.

"Abortion is not a treatment for anything," she said.

Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, the European Affairs Minister said she wasn't making pronouncements about how she was going to vote on Wednesday when the legislation comes before the Dail for the last time.

"I will obviously be participating in the report and final stage debate," she said.

The minister has tabled a series of amendments, which the Government is expected to reject.

Ms Creighton said the controversial Section 9 of the legislation, which provides for abortion in cases of threatened suicide, was "unworkable".

"Even as recently as yesterday, I met with a number of psychiatrists and GPs who I discussed the suicide clause with and they reiterated the fact it's unworkable. All of these experts seem to be ignored," she said.

PATHWAY

Ms Creighton said her amendments to the legislation would introduce a "pathway of care" for a pregnant women who was suicidal.

She questions what the Government has to "fear" from introducing a treatment of care for women in such circumstances.

"You are talking about a series of steps. That is what should be provided in the legislation. Abortion is not a treatment for anything," she said.

Meanwhile, Health Minister James Reilly has submitted minor amendments to his abortion bill – which fall far short of the demands of Ms Creighton.

She submitted her own detailed amendments to the bill, which would have eliminated the threat of suicide as grounds for an abortion.

Ms Creighton is seeking instead to provide a "multi-disciplinary care plan" and therapy for a suicidal woman seeking an abortion – and to have her admitted to hospital for day care if necessary.

Another of her amendments calls on the Attorney General to represent the unborn if a woman is appealing a refusal of an abortion request. And she also wants time limits to be put in place – so that an abortion cannot be carried out in the late stages of pregnancy.

But Dr Reilly's two key amendments merely change the language and emphasis of the 'Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill' – rather than changing the actual content.

Irish Independent

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