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Another Fine Gael TD publicly rejects abortion bill

Wicklow/Carlow TD Billy Timmins issued a statement this afternoon.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

WICKLOW/CARLOW DEPUTY Billy Timmins is the latest member of Fine Gael’s parliamentary party to publicly reveal his opposition to proposed abortion laws.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the TD expressed regret that he cannot support the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 because of the inclusion of suicide ideation as grounds to obtain a legal termination in Ireland.

“If a woman is in such a difficult place that she is contemplating suicide as a result of her pregnancy this Bill will legalise the direct and intentional killing of the unborn child,” he said.

According to Timmins, ‘almost 100 per cent’ of medical practitioners who appeared at the Oireachtas Health Committee hearings gave evidence that abortion is not a treatment for suicide.

He said that if suicide ideation was removed from the Bill, he would have “no difficulty” in supporting it.

“I hope the Minister will remove them,” he added, noting that Fine Gael had promised not to legislate for the X Case during its last election campaign.

“Since 1992, six minors who were in State care have travelled abroad for abortions, on the grounds of the threat of suicide, if this legislation is about saving women’s lives why was the treatment not provided in Ireland?” Timmins asked.

It is thought that at least 14 TDs will vote against the bill, including two other Fine Gael deputies – Brian Walsh and Peter Mathews. Colm Keaveney has also confirmed his will oppose the legislation along with one Sinn Féin TD, Peadar Tóibín.

The first vote on the proposed legislation is due to take place early next week.

Earlier: Abortion Rights Campaign says it cannot support the abortion bill

TFMR: ‘We don’t want government empathy and compassion – give us action’

More: At least 13 TDs to oppose abortion bill with first vote now due next week

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