Wednesday 21 February 2018

Healy Eames confirms vote against abortion bill

Fiach Kelly, Political Correspondent

A FINE Gael senator has become the latest party figure to rebel against the abortion legislation.

Galway senator Fidelma Healy-Eames said she decided with a "heavy heart" she could not support the bill.

Ms Healy Eames is the first senator to confirm she will vote against the legislation, but at least one more - and maybe two - are expected to follow.

It comes after five Fine Gael TDs, including former European Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton, rebelled in the Dail and were expelled from the parliamentary party.

"I don't want to lose the Fine Gael party whip but I do want to exercise my human right to make  a conscientious decision," Ms Healy-Eames told the Seanad, adding it allowed abortion in cases of suicided.

"I cannot support this bill as it stands," she said. She also said Savita Halappanavar's death had been "hijacked" to get abortion "over the line".

Paul Bradford has yet to disclose what way he will vote, but told the Seanad today abortion is against the fabric of Fine Gael's election promises.  

His main problem is with the suicide clause, which he said will lead to doctors practicing "medicine without science".

He also said the bill will open the door to "abuse of this clause".

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