Monday 24 October 2016

Taoiseach faces heavy criticism over delays dealing with fatal foetal abnormality

Published 06/07/2016 | 13:13

Clare Daly
Clare Daly

Independent TD Clare Daly has accused the Taoiseach of “ignoring” four UN directives for action on the problem of fatal foetal abnormality.

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The Dáil clash came ahead of a vote on a private member’s bill on the issue tomorrow evening. The Taoiseach hit back saying the bill, originally framed by Ms Daly, was legally and medically flawed.

“This bill is not good for women. It’s inadequate,” the Taoiseach said.

Ms Daly told of what she described as a harrowing letter from a woman who said she and her sister were pregnant around the same time.

The woman’s sister lost the child and the little body was subsequently buried with great dignity. The letter-writer told that she was a victim of fatal foetal abnormality who would be obliged to take her child to full term even it had no chance of sustainable life.

The Independent TD said the woman faced the prospect of her child’s remains being brought back in the boot of a car by ferry from Britain – or delivered by courier along with other parcels.

Ms Daly said the process of a citizens’ assembly would take until 2018 at least to deliver any remedy on the issue.

Mr Kenny said the issue had been framed by a 1983 amendment voted by the people and later interpreted by the Supreme Court.

He said the process outlined by him many times would now deal with efforts to build a national consensus on the issue, which he agreed gave rise to harrowing human stories.

But the Taoiseach insisted that the bill, being advanced by Independent TD Mick Wallace and originally put forward by Deputy Daly, was legally and medically flawed.

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