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Pro-Life Campaign asks the Taoiseach what he is afraid of

The Pro-Life Campaign has called for a free vote for all TDs on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.

Image: Pro-Life Campaign

THE PRO-LIFE Campaign has asked the Taoiseach why he is afraid to offer a free vote to his party’s TDs on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013.

Speaking at a press briefing earlier today, spokesperson Caroline Simons said a “significant number” of Fine Gael deputies had signalled their discomfort at having to vote a particular way, and not according to their own conscience.

“They are very concerned,” she told reporters. “They are very, very unhappy that they are being coerced into voting one particular way.

“It doesn’t say much for democracy when even members of the Dáil are being made to vote a particular way and not according to their conscience.

“So we call on the Taoiseach to allow his party to have a free vote on this. And all TDs in Dáil Eireann to have a free vote on this.”

The group criticised Fine Gael for breaking pre-election promises, claiming that it has made a number of deputies uncomfortable as they canvassed on the issue.

“What is the Taoiseach afraid of?,” asked Simons. “This is one of Society’s defining issues. What does it say about democracy?”

Peter Mathews has said he will table a parliamentary party motion calling for a free vote for sitting members but it is understood that it may be withdrawn ahead of the meeting. If it does go to a vote, expectations are that it will be defeated.

Earlier today, TD Brian Walsh confirmed that he will not be supporting the legislation in an email to colleagues, also stating that as many as 10 parliamentary party members will oppose the bill.

(YouTube: SineadOCarrollTJ)

More: ‘Specific threats’ made on life of Pro-Life campaigner Caroline Simons

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