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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019

Senator Jim Walsh criticised for abortion description

Walsh says his graphic description was based on the evidence of a US doctor who had carried out over 1,200 abortions.

Senator Jim Walsh speaking during the debate on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
Senator Jim Walsh speaking during the debate on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
Image: Screengrab

A NUMBER OF senior Government politicians have criticised Fianna Fáil Senator Jim Walsh for his graphic description of abortion during a debate in the Seanad yesterday.

Speaking this morning, Táinaiste Eamon Gilmore labelled Walsh’s contribution as as “inappropriate” and “over the top” .

On Today With Pat Kenny Labour Senator Ivana Bacik described Walsh’s words and “scaremongring” and “unfortunate” because she believed Seanad speeches on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill had until then been generally of high quality:

There was an agreement at the start of the debate that we would be respectful in our language, we would respect the views of others, that we would be professional in our approach to this issue and we would and debate it in reasonable and rational way and everybody stuck to that until that speech which we heard.

Speaking on the same show, Senator Jim Walsh said that the he also was disgusted by the words he used but said that he was citing a doctor in the United States who had carried out over 1,200 abortions before ‘seeing the error of what he was doing’.

He defended his descriptions  saying he was disgusted that anybody would be asked to carry out an abortion by legislators.

You can watch the video of Senator Jim Walsh’s speech to the Dáil below.

Warning: Users may find some language disturbing

Footage via HEAnet

Read: Here are the 15 senators who opposed the abortion legislation >

Read: Fianna Fáil senator: ‘I oppose this legislation because it is anti-women’

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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