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Woman who had a crisis pregnancy tells Fine Gael summit: 'I wouldn't wish it on anybody'

The Health Minister Simon Harris said Irish women are having dangerous abortions, whether in the form of a pill from the internet or a trip to another country.

FG REPEAL THE 8TH 7R2A8155_90529101 L to R. Kate O' Connell TD and Peter Fitzpatrick TD. Source: Eamonn Farrell

A FINE GAEL member, who gave her name as Geraldine, gave an emotional testimony during a debate on abortion at the Fine Gael conference in Cavan this evening.

“I have three beautiful children but I also had a crisis pregnancy and I would not wish it on anybody,” she said.

(Can’t view the video, click here)

She made an impassioned plea to her party colleagues, stating:

If you’re a man; a young man, please young gentlemen, speak to the mothers. There are a lot of hidden and pregnancies in Ireland.

“The Eight Amendment is not saving children, abortion happens anyway,” she said, adding:

Don’t accuse me of being a baby killer, I’m far from it … Let each and every one of you women stand up.
This is a women’s issue. God bless Peter [Fitzpatrick] and Bernard [Durkan], they will never have the pain that I went through.

There was a standing ovation for the woman, with TD Kate O’Connell visibly upset on the panel.

There were also other dissenting opinions in the packed out room, with some stating that the issue of abortion was not something that came up on the doorsteps during the election.

O’Connell said she would like Ireland to look towards the model in Denmark, rather than the UK, but said Ireland needs to acknowledge that it is exporting its problem to England.

She said women with the financial means could easily travel to the UK for abortion but that was not the case for all women.

“Who are we punishing the most and how do we feel about that as a party?”

The Health Minister Simon Harris said Irish women are having dangerous abortions, whether in the form of a pill from the internet or a trip to another country.

“I have sat in too many rooms with women who have found this country to be cold, neglectful, lonely and isolating,” he added.

“That’s the truth, abortion is a reality for many many, it just takes place with a pill from the internet, or a trip to another country.”

“As the Irish minister for health I have to accept the reality that Irish women are having dangerous abortions” he said.

Harris has said people have to face the reality that Irish women are having dangerous abortions either with a pill from the internet or a trip to another country.

TD Peter Fitzpatrick said he is a “firm believer [that] if we do copy the UK, if we start messing around with the eighth amendment, we are going to have serious consequences for the country going forward”.

The Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment said it would complete its work by its deadline of 20 December.

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