Tuesday 23 October 2018

Floating Voter podcast: Who knows how long a baby will live, asks TD opposed to abortion

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A Fianna Fáil TD has told how she will oppose any proposed changes to the Eighth Amendment, saying "no doctor" could predict how long a baby would live.

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony believes Ireland's abortion laws should be maintained despite a United Nations ruling that Ireland subjected a woman carrying a foetus with a fatal abnormality to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment which violated her human rights.

Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony (Fianna Fáil) Cork South-West
Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony (Fianna Fáil) Cork South-West

The Cork South West TD told Independent.ie's 'Floating Voter' podcast that she is "very, very pro-life" and it is "probably a red-line issue for me".

"I think that everyone is entitled to a life. I know there are a lot of crisis pregnancies, etc. Nobody expects anybody to bring up a child that they can't bring up or they feel they are not able to. But there are so many childless couples waiting for children," she said.

"My own two sons are adopted so I would have come through a lot of personal issues around all of that, so I'm totally pro-life."

Ms Murphy O'Mahony, who adopted her two boys from Romania and Russia, said she would never seek to force her views on anybody. But she may campaign against the repeal of the Eighth Amendment which gives equal rights to a mother and her unborn child if there is a referendum in the future.

Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony
Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony

Asked whether she would offer any lee-way in cases of fatal foetal abnormality, she replied: "But who can tell how long a baby is going to live? No doctor."

The TD said adopting her two sons had helped formed her view on the issue.

"It really opened my eyes to childlessness which is an issue that never comes up in the abortion debate," she said.

In the Dáil yesterday, Independent TD Clare Daly said the UN's finding was "a groundbreaking international decision" against this country.

Galway West Independent TD Catherine Connolly said the UN had called on Ireland to change the law on pregnancies involving fatal foetal abnormalities.

"It is important the voices of women are heard in this chamber," she added.

Education Minister Richard Bruton said he did not know how the Government would respond to the United Nations ruling.

But he noted the Programme for Government contains a commitment to set up a citizens' assembly within six months to consider all the issues involved.

Get the latest episodes of the Floating Voter every week by subscribing on iTunes.

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