Fianna Fail leader condemns ‘dishonest and offensive’ anti-abortion campaigning
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin’s opposition party keeps the Irish government in power in a confidence and supply arrangement (whereby it supports the minority Fine Gael government in motions of confidence and appropriation or budget (supply) votes, by either voting in favour or abstaining.)
In the past week the Cork South Central TD has criticised “dishonest and offensive” campaigning by some anti-abortion groups and accused them of deliberately spreading inaccuracies about what a Yes vote in next week’s referendum will actually mean.
He unequivocally rejected suggestions that a ‘Yes’ vote would lead to unlimited abortions or late-term terminations.
We should all remember that five years ago many people claimed that abortion on demand was being introduced because limits in that legislation wouldn’t be respected. Those claims turned out to be false.
Micheál Martin, Fianna Fáil leader
Mr Martin said that where there was a viable pregnancy there would be a delivery and stressed that Irish obstetricians agree on this point.
“It has also been suggested that the limits and regulations proposed in the legislation can’t be trusted and that effectively there will be no limits. This is entirely wrong.
“We should all remember that five years ago many people claimed that abortion on demand was being introduced because limits in that legislation wouldn’t be respected. Those claims turned out to be false.”
Mr Martin made his remarks at a Lawyers Together for Yes event accompanied by a number of his Fianna Fáil colleagues. He said people’s views and feelings on the difficult cases Ireland has seen down through the years – such as pregnancy by rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormalities – must now translate into a legal context and framework.
The only way to legislate for such matters was by permitting terminations within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
These hard cases, he stressed, will not be going away.
Voting ‘No’ would just mean retaining the status quo and “a system cruelly insensitive to women” and one that “compounds original traumas with further traumas”, he said.
Mr Martin said that many members of his party, while they might be on the ‘No’ side in the referendum, had privately told him they would not stand in the way of the legislation being enacted if the amendment is repealed. He believed a ‘Yes’ vote would therefore be a significant catalyst to necessary change in Ireland.
You may also be interested in: