Fitzpatrick to meet O’Reilly before vote

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Fine Gael deputy Peter Fitzpatrick will meet Minister for health James Reilly today Tuesday to discuss issues relating to the Protection of Life during |Pregnancy bill which will go before the Dail this Wednesday.

Fine Gael deputy Peter Fitzpatrick will meet Minister for health James Reilly today Tuesday to discuss issues relating to the Protection of Life during |Pregnancy bill which will go before the Dail this Wednesday.

Deputy Fitzpatrick said he will be supporting the bill when it comes before the house and that he has already received assurances from the minister that: The medical practitioner will be recorded and the medical practitioner who certified the procedure will be recorded in cases where terminations are carried out.

But there are other issues he hopes will be clarified after his meeting with the health minister.

“We don’t know how many terminations have been performed in this country since the X Case,” Deputy Fitzpatrick said. “Nor do we know what hospitals or doctors would be affected if the bill becomes law.

“I have been assured that the minister can intervene if a law is not being adhered to.”

Deputy Fitzpatrick, who as a member of the Oireachtas Health Committee was involved in last week’s committee stage of the bill, said he has been assured by the Taoiseach that abortion will not be available on demand.

Last-minute amendments to the bill are expected in order to keep Fine Gael deputies from defying the party whip.

The cabinet will discuss the amendments today Tuesday before the final vote.

More than 60 amendments have been proposed.

Fine Gael have lost four deputies so far.