Wednesday 28 September 2016

Creighton stands by unborn having equal rights with mothers

Philip Ryan and Daniel McConnell

Published 05/08/2015 | 02:30

Renua leader Lucinda Creighton with colleagues (from left) Finbarr Filan, Mailo Power, Patrick McKee and John Leahy at the launch of the party’s policy on public procurement at Leinster House yesterday
Renua leader Lucinda Creighton with colleagues (from left) Finbarr Filan, Mailo Power, Patrick McKee and John Leahy at the launch of the party’s policy on public procurement at Leinster House yesterday

Renua leader Lucinda Creighton has said her experience of childbirth has made her more committed to protecting the rights of mothers and babies.

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Ms Creighton, who almost lost her daughter during childbirth, was commenting following the publication of Fine Gael councillor Kate O'Connell's account of her traumatic pregnancy.

Ms Creighton, who left Fine Gael over the passing of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, was replaced by Ms O'Connell on the party ticket in Dublin Bay South.

Writing in the Irish Independent yesterday, Ms O'Connell, who is pro-choice, described how her son Pierce was given a 10pc chance of survival when birth defects were identified during her pregnancy.

He is now a healthy four-year-old boy about to start primary school. However, Ms O'Connell said she was let down by the system as she would have been forced to travel to the UK if she had wanted a termination.

Speaking yesterday, Ms Creighton praised the staff in the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street for saving her daughter, Gwendolyn, during her pregnancy.

"I've had my own difficulties in my own pregnancy and thanks to the fantastic people in Holles Street Hospital my daughter is alive today - it's as stark as that," she told reporters.

Scary

"Everyone has very different and scary stories to tell in relation to pregnancy, but we have super maternity care, by and large, in this country."

Ms Creighton said politicians were obliged to ensure that best practices were in place in hospitals around the country to protect mothers and babies during pregnancy.

"I think it is our obligation as parliamentarians, as policymakers, to ensure we provide the best care for mothers and babies and I believe in the equal rights of mothers and babies.

"It is a really important principle, as far I am concerned. I want to see quality care provided for parents, particularly for mums in this country, and that is my priority."

Speaking on Newstalk yesterday, Ms O'Connell, who is a pharmacist, said she was in favour of abortion during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.

"For me it's choice - so you can tell now... even with a test you buy in a chemist, you can tell two to three weeks pregnant on a test," she said. "So I would be in favour of the choice to be there with very strict terms limits - 10 weeks, give or take - the exact eight to 10 weeks would be up to the medical experts."

Ms O'Connell said it was "barbaric" that Irish women were still forced to travel to the UK to have non-viable pregnancies terminated.

Irish Independent

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