Legislating for X would lead to abortion on demand says Fianna Fáil leaderSaturday, July 28th, 2012
The Pro Life Campaign has welcomed a statement by opposition leader, Mícheál Martin from Fianna Fáil, that legislation to allow abortion along the lines of the ‘X’ case would effectively lead to abortion on demand.
In a statement, PLC spokesperson Dr Ruth Cullen said that Mr Martin's remarks, "acknowledged the reality of what an Irish abortion regime would look like after legislation.”
"Last week we saw a significant number of Fine Gael TDs and Senators remind their party leadership of their election pledge to stand up for unborn human life. Today we saw Mícheál Martin reaffirm his party's commitment to the same principle: that human life must be protected at all stages. Both developments were timely and welcome.”
On last Sunday’s This Week programme on RTÉ, the Minister of State at the Department for Health Kathleen Lynch said that she did not think the Government has a choice other than to legislate for abortion if the Expert Group established by the coalition government recommends such legislation.
However in response to her statement, Dr Ruth Cullen from PLC said that the expert group was tasked with producing a wide variety of options for consideration by the Government.
“It is not meant to recommend one particular course of action. If the Expert Group reports with a narrow list of options, all leading to abortion, it will not be based on medicine or law but politics,” she added.
She said the European court judgment did not compel Ireland to introduce abortion.
“It sought clarity in the law in this area, which is an entirely different matter.”
The two government parties have opposing views on the issue of abortion; Fine Gael having stood for election on a pro-life platform and Labour having promised in its own election manifesto to legislate for the ‘X’ case.
When the coalition formed, the new government disposed of the issue by referring it to an expert group that is due to issue its report in September.
In a recent statement, the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, promised the Dáil that the government, unlike previous administrations, would deal with the 1992 ‘X’ case. This prompted widespread anger and disagreement in the Fine Gael party, with up to 15 Fine Gael TDs and Senators threatening to vote against any legislation to allow for abortion in Ireland and some saying they felt so strongly on the issue that they would resign over it.
Following Minister Lynch’s statement last weekend, which added fuel to the fire, Labour Leader and Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore said the coalition would not be destabilised over the issue of abortion.
“We have established structures within government which enable us to make key decisions on a joint basis," he said. For his part, Minister for Health, Dr Reilly, has agreed to consult party colleagues before bringing the expert group’s recommendations to Cabinet.
Meanwhile in Spain, the Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz- Gallardón has announced that upcoming legislation reform of the country’s laws governing abortions will eliminate foetal deformity as a basis for abortion.
The promised legislation will also do away with abortion-on-demand during the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy (as established by the previous administration), introducing specific conditions under which abortion will be allowed.
The Minister said that unborn babies with handicaps should be given the same level of protection as babies without them.
“I think that the same level of protection that is given to an unborn child without any type of handicap or deformity should be given to those that are verified as lacking some of the abilities that other unborn children have,” he told the Spanish publication La Razón.
According to statistics published by La Razón, 90% of handicapped or deformed children in Spain are killed in their mothers’ wombs, a total of over 16,000 over the last five years.
by Susan Gately