Fianna Fail TDs on No side will allow abortion legislation through Dail - Martin
PRO-LIFE Fianna Fail TDs are committing to allow abortion legislation pass through the Dail following the landslide vote in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.
The majority of Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin’s party opposed repealing the Eighth Amendment and the introduction of unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
However, with an referendum result expected to be confirmed later on Saturday, a number of TDs have said they will not oppose abortion legislation passing through the Dail.
Speaking to RTE, Mr Martin said he has spoken to a number of pro-life Fianna Fail TDs who said they will not “stand in the way of he democratic will of the people”.
He said while some in his party took issue with him publicly advocating a 'Yes', he said the majority were happy for him to take his own stance.
Mr Martin said he expects party colleagues who voted against repeal will support legislation brought before the Dail.
"TDs are saying to me irrespective of how they voted, they will stand by the will of the people," he said.
Fianna Fail deputy leader Dara Calleary, who was the most senior party member voting No, also said he will now enact the will of the people once legislation comes before the Dail.
Carlow Kilkenny TD Bobby Aylward, who organised pro-life meetings in response to Mr Martin declaring he supported the constitutional change, said he allow abortion legislation pass through the parliament.
“I’m a democrat to my bones and I will not oppose any legislation because the people decided by a huge majority that they want change,” Mr Aylward told Independent.ie
Fianna Fail housing spokesman Darragh O’Brien also said he would not oppose new abortion laws after two exit polls showed almost 70pc of the country voted in favour of repealing the Eighth.
“Exit polls show that the people have voted emphatically to repeal the 8th. In our republic the people are sovereign. The people have voted for change and this must now be delivered. As a democrat I commit to making sure that this happens,” Mr O’Brien said on Twitter.
Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte also said she would not block any new abortion laws as she believes politicians should “listen to the voice of the people”.
Prominent Fianna Fail pro-life TD Mary Butler said she will "not hold up or filibuster" new legislation.
Ms Butler said she is "reserving her position" on unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy but has come around to allowing terminations in case of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormalities.
RTE’s exit poll showed Fianna Fail was the only party whose members rejected the referendum with 50.3pc voting No and 49.7pc voting Yes.
In comparison, 74.9pc of Fine Gael supporters voted Yes, 74.5pc of Sinn Fein voters, 80.3pc of Labour Party, 88.9pc Green Party and 82.1pc Solidarity-People Before Profit.