We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Paul Bradford: "There are no such babies as babies with fatal foetal abnormalities"

The Senator said that there are babies with “life-limiting conditions”.

SENATOR PAUL BRADFORD has said today that he believes there are no babies with fatal foetal abnormalities.

He was speaking in the Seanad about yesterday’s ruling in a Belfast court that abortion should be made available in cases of rape and fatal foetal abnormality (FFA).

The Renua Ireland Senator said during Order of Business that he wanted to mention language, describing it as “a very strong weapon”.

“When we speak this easy phrase, ‘fatal foetal abnormalities’, we are talking about babies who have a life-limiting or life-threatening condition,” said Bradford. “They are human beings.”

He said that “at least one grouping representing parents who had such babies who might have lived for a day, a week or a month, attempted to make their views known to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Children two years ago and were not allowed do so”.

We need to be sensitive. There are no such babies as babies with fatal foetal abnormalities. There are babies with serious, profound life-threatening and life-limiting conditions but they are still human beings.

He said he concurred with statements made by Senator Rónán Mullen today in relation to comments on the abortion legislation proposals from Northern Ireland.

Mullen said: “What we are seeing here is the corruption of law, the corruption of the human rights community deciding that some vulnerable human beings are outside the pale for human protection”.

Abortion laws

Yesterday, the Belfast High Court ruled that abortion laws in Northern Ireland breach human rights law.

Mr Justice Horner said women who are the victims of sexual crime and whose baby has a fatal foetal abnormality are entitled to exemptions in the law.

He found that abortion legislation in Northern Ireland breached Article 8 of the European Convention on human rights by failing to provide an exception to the prohibition on abortion in cases of:

  • A fatal foetal abnormality (at any time during the pregnancy);
  • Where the pregnancy is the result of sexual crime (up to the date when the foetus is capable of existing independently of the mother).

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) called it a ‘landmark ruling’. It was also welcomed by the Termination for Medical Reasons (TFMR) group, who called on legislators in the Republic to “carefully consider the judgement”.

However, Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro-Life Campaign said the ruling was “deeply hurtful to families of babies diagnosed with life-shortening conditions”.

- Additional reporting Hugh O’Connell

Read: Belfast court rules abortion should be available in cases of rape and fatal foetal abnormality>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.