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Tuesday 12 December 2017

FG’s John O’Mahony says he will support the abortion bill

Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

FINE Gael Mayo TD John O'Mahony has declared that he is going to support the abortion bill in the decisive Dail vote tonight.

He had been one of the Fine Gael TDs whose support for the bill was in doubt.

Mr O’Mahony said it had been well known that he had serious concerns about the section in the bill allowing for abortion where a pregnant woman was suicidal.

But he said he had obtained clarification from the Attorney General Maire Whelan that this was included because it already existed as a constitutional right.

“Notwithstanding my concerns on the principle of this issue, I accept that it is not legally feasible to remove this provision from the bill as to do so would leave a constitutional right still in existence but unregulated,” he said.

Mr O’Mahony said he welcomed the amendments to the bill put forward by Health Minister James Reilly, which would require doctors to consider all possible alternative treatments to save the life of the pregnant woman.

“In conclusion, I am satisfied that this bill will create a rigorous and restrictive regulation of existing legal rights and that that the safeguards therein are adequate to prevent abuse of its provision. Consequently, I have decided to support the passage of the remaining stages of this bill through the Dail,” he said.

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