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Wednesday 21 March 2018

Creighton makes final appeal to drop 'suicide clause' from the abortion bill

Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

FINE Gael Junior Minister Lucinda Creighton has made a final plea to Health Minister Dr James Reilly to drop the “suicide clause” from his abortion bill.

She said she cannot support the clause allowing for abortion if there is a threat of suicide by a woman because it is "essentially built on sand". Her comments in the Dail are another sign that she is not going to reverse her decision to vote against the abortion bill tonight.

Ms Creighton said she wanted to appeal to Dr Reilly to “please listen” to the medical evidence showing that abortion was not a treatment for suicide.

“I am lost for words. I cannot understand why this proposal is being insisted on by you and your Government,” she said.

Ms Creighton also criticised the 1992 Supreme Court X case which allowed for abortion in the case of a suicidal teenage pregnant rape victim. She said the woman in the case tragically did not require an abortion because she had a miscarriage.

She also said that former Supreme Court Justice Hugh O’Flaherty – who was one of the judges in the case – had said that the ruling was not binding as a result. But she said his comments had been “bizarrely overlooked”.

“The X case is being dangled over us, as to why we are including this flawed section in the legislation which is not evidence based,” she said.

Ms Creighton said the legislative branch – the Dail – had identified the absence of medical science accepted by the Supreme Court in the 1992 X case judgment and had a huge volume of testimony which showed the judgment was incorrect.

She said the Government had ignored this and was now forcing TDs to ignore the duty of the Dail to act as a check-and-balance on the Supreme Court.

“I find that deeply worrying and something I certainly cannot be part of,” she said.

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