Concerns Over Extreme Abortion Proposal
Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Deputy Jim O’Callaghan has said that more babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome and disabilities will be aborted if the government’s plan for unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks is adopted.
Fianna Fáil’s front bench is divided over the issue, with Mr O’Callaghan among those most vocally opposed to the 12-weeks proposal.
“I do not support the proposal for abortion up to 12 weeks as I am concerned it would significantly increase the number of pregnancies with Down Syndrome or other disabilities that are terminated,” Mr O’Callaghan said, although he added that the current system is “too restrictive and should be amended”.
The other seven Fianna Fáil frontbench TDs with concerns about the 12-week option are housing spokesman Barry Cowen, foreign affairs spokesman Darragh O’Brien, transport spokesman Robert Troy, rural affairs spokesman Éamon Ó Cuív, disability spokeswoman Margaret O’Mahony Murphy, children’s spokeswoman Anne Rabbitte, and mental health spokesman James Browne.
Those in favour are Brexit spokesman Stephen Donnelly, communications spokesman Timmy Dooley, the party’s Seanad leader, Catherine Ardagh, and defence spokeswoman Lisa Chambers and health spokesman Billy Kelleher, both of whom sat on the Oireachtas committee.
Many Fianna Fáil TDs said there is confusion and a “vacuum” as the Government has yet to decide exactly how to proceed, with even ministers having mixed views on the abortion referendum.
Irish Examiner. January 12.