Wednesday 14 November 2018

'Abortion will become the contraception of choice,' Fianna Fail TD Marc McSharry in abortion U-turn

Critical: Marc MacSharry
Critical: Marc MacSharry

Laura Lynott

Fianna Fáil's Marc MacSharry has claimed that abortion will become a contraceptive method being pushed by "men and not women".

Deputy MacSharry did a U-turn in the Dail on Thursday, stating he could not support the abortion legislation after previously committing to back the legal changes.

At the introductory stage debate of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill, the Sligo-Leitrim TD said: "I fear that this will become the contraceptive of choice for people down the line; not today, next week or even next year, but in time.

"Abortion will become something that is the norm rather than for the hard cases. That is a concern for me."

Speaking to the Irish Independent yesterday, Mr MacSharry said: "I could have been more specific. The fear would be abortion would be the contraceptive of choice for some - I'm talking about men not women in that regard."

When asked why he believed abortion would be used as a contraceptive, the politician referred to the UK abortion system.

"There have been about eight million abortions in the UK since the 1967 abortion law was enacted. And I suppose I have difficulty that these are all hard cases," he said.

"It could be half a million (abortions) in Ireland over 40 years.

"And it's men I'm talking about, opposed to taking the appropriate precautions for contraception."

Cork GP Mary Favier and founding member of Doctors For Choice, criticised Mr MacSharry, saying: "This is just repeating comments made during the referendum.

"During the referendum, we spent time mythbusting comments like this. No one chooses an unwanted pregnancy and abortion as contraception.

"It's not reality, Mr MacSharry is going back to the scaremongering used during the referendum, which I, and many others, worked to prove wrong."

She accused him of ignoring the mandate, adding: "66pc of the population wanted this change in the law".

Health Minister Simon Harris has already slammed Mr MacSharry's comments as "horrific and bizarre".

Mr MacSharry responded to Dr Favier's comments, stating: "She's entitled to her views," but he was "worried that the floodgates" are opening and that he was specifically referring to "men and not women" with regards to using abortion as contraception.

He added: "You will see by my tone and demeanour (in the Dáil) I'm saying this is a very personal matter for me.

"I'd like to respect all views and not vilify and I'm entitled to my own personal view."

Mr MacSharry said he had been intending to watch Manchester United Vs Juventus on Tuesday in Manchester, his "first" game at Old Trafford.

But he'd made the decision to stay in Ireland if he needs to vote then.

Irish Independent

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