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Labour accused of using abortion as 'cover to deflect from Budget'

Pro-life group the Life Institute said that James Connolly “must be turning in his grave”.

Tanaiste and Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore
Tanaiste and Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

LABOUR HAS BEEN accused of using the abortion issue as cover for ‘betrayal of working people’ by pro-life group the Life Institute.

The Life Institute said that the party has used the abortion issue to “deflect from the fact that it has supported a Budget that will implement savage cuts on some of the most vulnerable people in society”.

Spokeswoman Niamh Uí Bhriain said that ” James Connolly must be turning in his grave” because Labour representatives are “calling for abortion” while the Budget is “forcing austerity on the people”.

Uí Bhriain said that Labour “most likely thought it opportune to emphasise its support for abortion to shore up support from liberal voters” as the Budget was being passed.

She said that it was a “foolish and ill-advised strategy, given that Labour’s vote had fallen after it openly supported abortion legislation in Election 2011″.

However, she said, pushing for abortion legislation offered Labour “a distraction from its betrayal of working families”.

It’s as if they are saying: ‘we’ve slashing payments to carers and children but, hey, we’re still in favour of abortion, so if you’re a well-heeled liberal we know we’ll still get your vote

During the Dáil debate over ULA Deputy Clare Daly’s abortion bill, Labour deputies spoke out in their support for legislating for abortion as recommended in the Supreme Court ruling in the X Case.

The bill was voted down, but Labour TD Ann Phelan said after the defeat that the party “has not voted against the idea of legislating for abortion”.  She said the party is determined to act on the Expert Group report on abortion.

Read: Ireland told to expedite abortion legislation or regulation>

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