LUCINDA Creighton has admitted she is going to "struggle" to decide on how to vote on the controversial issue of abortion despite her position as Junior Minister in the coalition Government.
She is one of a number of Fine Gael TDs who are concerned about the possibility of abortion legislation designed to protect the life of the mother leading to “abortion on demand”.
Ms Creighton said she agreed that action had to be taken but was not sure what should be done.
“"I certainly will struggle with it. I can't tell you how I will vote as I don't know what I will be voting on,” she told RTE’s Today with Pat Kenny Show.
The Junior Minister for European Affairs also said an attempt by the Government to impose a full “three-line whip” to force TDs to vote in line would not be appropriate. But she said the Government would be striving to achieve a “consensus”.
The Government has pledged to come to a decision on the recommendations of the expert group on abortion before the end of the year. It is expected that legislation will be required, given that the group said that introducing guidelines on abortion for doctors would not have the necessary legal force.
But Ms Creighton said she did not accept there was no choice but to legislate.
"There are deep concerns that if we get it wrong, this could lead for example to abortion on demand,” she said.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter has alarmed many Fine Gael TDs by insisting that the issue of allowing an abortion where a mother is at risk of suicide could not be ignored. He also said that some citizens were more equal than others – meaning that men were not denied medical treatment when they required it.
Ms Creighton said she did not agree with Mr Shatter that some citizens were more equal than others.