Irish News

Thursday 21 August 2014

Lucinda Creighton's abortion stance just 'huff and puff' – Labour

Fionnan Sheahan, Michael Brennan and Lise Hand

Published 22/01/2013 | 05:00

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Lucinda Creighton. Photo: Collins

THE Labour Party has attacked Fine Gael junior minister Lucinda Creighton over her stance on abortion, describing her comments on forthcoming legislation as "huff and puff".

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A Labour TD has also raised the prospect of foetal abnormalities, which won't be included in the legislation currently being drafted, being "addressed in the future".

Ms Creighton, the European Affairs Minister, has been the most outspoken Fine Gael TD on the abortion legislation, expressing reservations about the inclusion of suicide as grounds for a termination.

She has also said she doesn't know if she will vote for the legislation until she sees the exact text.

Disappointed

In an official statement from the Labour Party press office, party backbencher Ciara Conway said she was "disappointed" by the minister, and that the Government had made an unequivocal commitment to legislate for the "X case, or 'Savita's Law'".

"Minister Creighton can huff and puff about her own personal reservations on the inclusion of suicide as a risk to the life of the mother but, on this issue, the Government's intention to legislate is unequivocal," she said.

"Legislation on abortion where the life of the mother is at risk is long overdue. It will provide for terminations in the most limited of circumstances, and this is as far as we can go.

"However, the area of lethal foetal abnormalities will not be addressed by this legislation, as its scope is limited to the risk to the life of the mother, but I believe that will have to be addressed in the future."

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton played down the tensions within Fine Gael on the abortion issue.

"The legislation, when people see it, will be seen to be a sensitive reaction to a difficult issue," he said.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was accused of "regrettable demonising" of the pro-life movement.

Mr Kenny said at the weekend that, because of the legislation, he had been branded as "worse than Herod" – a reference to the Roman-appointed King of Judea who is blamed in the Bible for ordering the murder of infants in Bethlehem in an effort to kill the baby Jesus.

Challenging the Taoiseach on the comment, Independent Senator Ronan Mullen said it was the second time Mr Kenny had complained about pro-life people.

"The reality of being a public representative is that we all receive unpleasant and insulting comments from a small number of people, but I have not noticed the Taoiseach complaining about negative correspondence received on other issues," he said.

But Environment Minister Phil Hogan said that the representations he had received on the abortion issue had been "very respectful".

Irish Independent

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