Abortion legislation

Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick to vote against the abortion bill proposal later today

Deputy Fitzpatrick left Fine Gael recently to stand as independent candidate

Donard McCabe

Reporter:

Donard McCabe

Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick to vote against the abortion bill proposal later today

Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick to vote against the abortion bill proposal later today

Louth Independent TD Peter Fitzpatrick has issued a statement this morning on abortion legislation presently being debated in Dáil Éireann.

Speaking on the abortion bill Deputy Fitzpatrick said, "It’s only five months since the referendum on the 8th Amendment and already TDs are being asked to vote on legislation to introduce abortion. 

"We are being rushed to vote on this legislation, with very little time being given to debating its contents. The Government is clearly rushing it through because they are afraid voters will be appalled if they find out the full details of what is proposed in the small print. ‘

He continued, "as a member of Dáil Eireann I have looked at the proposals and I am alarmed by some of its contents.

"I am deeply disturbed at how extreme the legislation is proposed to be, in spite of assurances from the Government during the referendum campaign that reasonable restrictions would be put in place.

"Many decided to vote Yes last May because they were promised these restrictions, most of which are not now included. The regime being put in place is one of the most permissive abortion regimes anywhere in Europe.’

Fitzpatrick went on to say,

"This legislation defines abortion as “a medical procedure intended to end the life of a foetus”. Terminations are going to be available on request, with no reason needed.

"The baby’s humanity and right to life is totally ignored, and unborn babies are to be made legally invisible by the legislation. 

"The Government insists that abortion is just healthcare, but this is simply not true. They know full well that the legislation allows abortions even where they are not a necessary treatment for the mother. 

"A doctor with a pregnant woman has two patients, the mother and the baby. Are we expected to pretend it is acceptable for a doctor to intentionally end the life of one patient as healthcare for the other?’

Deputy Fitzpatrick mentioned that, "It’s worth looking closely at some of the restrictions which we were promised during the referendum campaign.

"The Government assured us time and again that abortion would not be legal solely because a child was a girl, or because a baby had Down Syndrome or suffered from a disability.

"We know that all over the world that these are grounds on which abortions are carried out in other jurisdictions, with 90% of all children diagnosed with Down Syndrome in the UK being aborted.

"Sadly, this legislation does not contain any restrictions on these grounds for abortion. For baby girls, for babies with Down syndrome or with a disability there’s no compassion, no respect, no concern.’

He noted, "we also know from international experience that sometimes babies are born alive after failed abortions. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information there were 766 babies born alive after failed abortions between 2013 and 2018. 

"In Britain, according to information published by the UK Department of Health, in 2007 alone 66 babies were born alive after a failed abortion and left to die. ‘

"If we were serious about having respect for life, then surely, at the very least, the legislation could include an amendment requiring doctors to intervene and provide life-saving care to the baby in such circumstances. As it stands, this legislation has no such provisions. 

"I believe that the only right thing to do is for the doctors to be required to intervene with the needed life-saving care when a baby survives abortion’ said Fitzpatrick.

Concluding the local Independent TD said, "Sadly, the Government is giving no indication that it will accept amendments which will limit the damage which this new law will do. 

"I cannot but vote against this extreme proposal and encourage other TDs to do likewise."