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Thursday 21 November 2019

Abortion debate - what TDs said

{ I am very disappointed that there is very little accommodation of the legitimate concerns expressed by me and many others, not least within the chamber, in the government amendments, as published.

"I met with Minister James Reilly for an hour last night, and with the Taoiseach for nearly an hour and a half.

"I am now faced with either supporting the bill or being booted out of the party, my party, and I am not going to allow myself to be booted out, so I am supporting this legislation."

Fine Gael Mayo TD Michelle Mulherin

{ The proposal for suicidal pregnant women in the bill could be described as being barbaric and tantamount to mental torture. It tells women that mental health is not real health and that the State does not trust them. It tells them they must be interrogated and prove themselves not to be liars."

Independent Wexford TD Mick Wallace

{ "Why are we insisting that abortion, which has no medical grounding, will be enshrined in our statute book as the only treatment for women who find themselves in that desperate place? I am lost for words because I cannot understand why this proposal is being insisted upon by the minister and his Government.

"For me, it is the distortion of facts and in some cases revisionism, which disturbs me most. I very much support the overall intention of the legislation, which is supposed to be about protecting and saving the lives of women and babies, but I cannot support a clause which is essentially built on sand."

Fine Gael Dublin South-East TD Lucinda Creighton on the suicide clause

{ This abortion bill is not a medical or psychiatric response to suicidal ideation. It is a political response to a flawed, medical evidence-free Supreme Court judgment. In many ways, this legislation is a compromise hatched at the cabinet table between Fine Gael and the Labour Party."

Sinn Fein Meath West TD Peadar Toibin

{ A politician who won't stand for something falls for everything."

Independent Kerry South TD Michael Healy-Rae

{ I have heard a lot of talk in recent days about people cowering behind the party whip, and I think people can only examine their own conscience and can only make up their own minds on that matter. However, what about people cowering behind the Supreme Court? The X Case was incorrect and it ought to be corrected under the separation of powers principle and the system of checks and balances. That is our responsibility in this House.

"The executive, however, has not only chosen to ignore this fact but is now seeking to entrench this decision, which is not binding, by forcing the Oireachtas to compound the error made by a Supreme Court which did not hear any medical evidence. I find that bizarre, to say the least."

Fine Gael Dublin South-East TD Lucinda Creighton

{ I remember deputies on all sides of the house raising the issue of cyber bullying and the fact that young girls have taken their lives because they were cyber bullied. Now, if we believe – if we truly believe – that a young girl could take her life because she is cyber bullied, well then it is quite possible and very probable a young girl – alone, afraid, vulnerable – who looks at the pregnancy test kit and finds she is pregnant, that she may, because of that vulnerability, decide that suicide is her only way out.

"And that is not something we can dismiss in the abstract. That is real, has happened and will happen again, as night follows day. That young girl has a few options presently: continue with the pregnancy, she may go to England, decide to get on the internet and decide to procure abortive pills. But in the extreme circumstances, she may decide that ending her life is the only way to deal with that crisis pregnancy."

Fianna Fail Cork North Central TD and health spokesman Billy Kelleher

{ One person under the age of 17 dies by suicide every month here. It is a real risk for our citizens, male or female; for a woman, regardless of whether she is pregnant. Some people in this House seek to undo the erosion of the stigma from this issue following campaigning and lobbying to see mental health as an issue that needs to be addressed. They should tell that to the doctors, the psychiatrists who have gone to medical school, who treat our citizens, who have poor mental health and mental illnesses, in our acute and community medical facilities all over the country."

Labour Waterford TD Ciara Conway

Irish Independent

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