We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


'A slur on the women of Ireland': Shatter slams abortion bill opponents

Meanwhile it appears the majority of Fianna Fáil TDs will oppose the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill as a marathon Dáil debate continues.

JUSTICE MINISTER ALAN Shatter launched a strongly-worded defence of the government’s Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill in the Dáil today as the marathon debate on the legislation continues.

Shatter said that suggestions by some that multiple numbers of women will seek abortions by pretending to be suicidal is “a slur on the women of Irleand”

“Irish women who become pregnant are concerned for the health and well-being of the baby and themselves,” he told the Dáil this afternoon.

The Fine Gael TD insisted that not legislating for abortion in circumstances where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of a woman, including suicide, would present a greater risk of the current system being “abused” and described the new law as a “very careful and simple architecture”.

He also criticised protests outside his house recently, describing how two young people carried a picture of a “very bloodied foetus on a very large poster” outside his home at 8am one morning.

“I think that was an appalling way to conduct themselves,” he said noting that parents and their children would have seen the images on the way to school.

His party colleague James Bannon has given a strong indication he will not support the legislation. The Longford-Westmeath TD told the Dáil that “suicidal intent is impossible to predict” but insisted that abortion is not a Catholic or religious issue for him.

Fianna Fáil opposition

Meanwhile it appears likely that the majority of Fianna Fáil TDs now look set to oppose the bill. The party has allowed a free vote on the legislation with six already confirming recently to that they would oppose the bill.

Today in the Dáil, the party’s education spokesperson and Donegal North-East deputy Charlie McConalogue confirmed his opposition to the bill as did its whip and Kildare South TD Seán Ó Fearghail.

Longford-Westmeath TD Robert Troy (above) gave a strong indication that he would not support the bill, telling deputies: “I remain to be convinced for the need to include the threat of suicide as real and substantial threat to the life of the mother.”

He said that he does “trust the women of Ireland” but said that there needed to be far better supports and resources for dealing with suicidal ideation in women “that will help them deal with any unwanted or unplanned pregnancies.

Gilmore: Abortion bill will ‘fall short’ on hard cases – but I’m voting for it

Video + speech: Here’s what Lucinda Creighton had to say on abortion legislation

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.