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Labour TD says newspaper 'sting' job on abortion beliefs was intended to mislead

A Sunday newspaper published transcripts from taped conversations between Anne Ferris and another Labour TD regarding their views on abortion legislation – but Ferris says the supposed ‘sting’ adds nothing new to her public position on the matter.

Anne Ferris TD pictured alongside Labour leader Eamon Gilmore.
Anne Ferris TD pictured alongside Labour leader Eamon Gilmore.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

LABOUR TD, ANNE FERRIS has said that the sole purpose of The Sunday Independent’s front page story last weekend “was to sow dissent and distrust”.

Writing for TheJournal.ie about the story for the first time, Ferris said she was not “caught out” as the story would like people to believe and stated she is on record as being pro-choice and believing that X-case legislation doesn’t go far enough.

Ferris said she was disappointed a newspaper deemed the story to be a suitable front page article, adding that she believed it to be “underhand, wrong and published to do maximum damage to me and to coalition relations”.

“I welcome the fact that after 21 years the Heads of Bill legislating for the X-Case have finally been agreed. Members of the Oireachtas will have to decide for themselves what support they will show for this legislation,’ she said.

Last weekend’s Sunday Independent front page revealed transcripts from taped conversations between Labour TDs, Anne Ferris and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, who both indicated the legislation could be used as a stepping stone for less restrictive regimes in the future.

The Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney dismissed the newspaper article last weekend saying: “Those tapes are trying to sow division. They are also conversations that took place a year ago…It was some kind of sting operation to catch people out. That is not the basis for a sensible discussion on the issue to try and find a compromise for people to live with.”

Read Anne Ferris’ article for TheJournal.ie: I’m a pro-choice TD and I’ve never pretended to be anything else

Read: ‘Those tapes are trying to sow division’ – Minister dismisses abortion ‘sting’ job

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