See how your TDs voted on humane amendments to abortion Bill

The debate on the Abortion Bill recommenced in Dáil Éireann on Tuesday of this week.

This phase of the debate (technically called Report Stage) is crucial in the sense that it is here where the Bill and any amendments to it are subjected to in-depth scrutiny by the entire Dáil.

It will return for further Report Stage debates next week.

Effectively this is one of the last opportunities that our legislators have to limit the extreme nature of the Bill and to insert some kind of proportionate and reasonable protections for the unborn child; for example, the right to pain relief before termination.

Of the 60 plus amendments that were submitted for Report Stage, less than a third were from a pro-life perspective.

However, this did nothing to prevent the overwhelming majority of the criticism being directed against those principled and brave TDs who tabled them or to prevent accusations of ‘delaying tactics’ being thrown around without a shred of evidence.

Watch the video below of Deputy Mattie McGrath defending the democratic right of TD’s to analyse the Bill without intimidation here.

In all, four of the pro-life amendments were debated this week. Rather terrifyingly, all of them were rejected by a significant majority.

Let’s take a closer look at each of them and also speak a little about the debate that occurred when each one made its way to the floor of the Dáil.

(i) That taxpayers wouldn’t have to pay for abortion except where there is a risk to the mother’s life (Amendment 4) 

This amendment was tabled by Deputy Carol Nolan on the basis that the taxpayer should also be able to conscientiously object to funding abortion. It is also in line with the conclusions of the World Health Organisation’s Technical and Policy Guidance for Health Systems published in 2012 which states that “the financing of abortion services should take into account costs to the health system while ensuring that services are affordable.”

Affordable is very far from meaning free for all who desire it and regardless of the cost.

The Amendment was rejected by 90 votes to 9

Those who voted IN FAVOUR of Amendment 4 are as follows:

Aylward, Bobby
Collins, Michael.
Fitzpatrick, Peter.
Grealish, Noel.
Healy-Rae, Danny.
Healy-Rae, Michael.
McGrath, Mattie.
Nolan, Carol.
Tóibín, Peadar.

For a small insight into how Carol Nolan was repeatedly and personally attacked by pro-choice TD’s for bringing forward this amendment, watch the short video below which has been shared almost 450 times on our Facebook Page.

 (ii) That abortion would be prohibited on the grounds of gender, race or disability (Amendment 28)

This amendment was moved by Deputy Peadar Toibin and sought to expressly prohibit abortion on the grounds of race, disability of gender and to give effect to the repeated assurances of the Minister for Health himself during the referendum debate that abortion on the grounds of disability would be prohibited in the Bill.

Again, this amendment was savagely attacked with ludicrous and desperate claims that it was actually an attempt to introduce “racist stereotyping.”

Indeed one Deputy, Fianna Fail’s Lisa Chambers also made the stunningly ignorant claim that abortions on the basis of gender or the sex of the child were a myth.

Perhaps Deputy Chambers might review the evidence from the United Nations Population Fund which estimates that at least 126 million girls are ‘missing’ primarily due to sex selective abortion and female infanticide.

The Amendment was rejected by 71 votes to 21

Those who voted IN FAVOUR of Amendment 28 are as follows:

Aylward, Bobby
Butler, Mary.
Collins, Michael.
Curran, John.
Fitzmaurice, Michael.
Fitzpatrick, Peter.
Grealish, Noel.
Haughey, Seán.
Healy-Rae, Danny.
Healy-Rae, Michael.
Lowry, Michael.
MacSharry, Marc.
McGrath, Mattie.
Murphy, Eugene.
Nolan, Carol.
O’Rourke, Frank.
Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Scanlon, Eamon.
Smith, Brendan.
Smyth, Niamh.
Tóibín, Peadar

(iii) That pain relief would be administered to the unborn child before abortion (Amendment 37)

For the vast majority of people, the refusal to codify or actively require in law that pain relief be offered to the unborn child prior to termination, has been the greatest eye opener in terms of revealing the extreme nature of Minister Harris’ abortion Bill.

It was truly terrifying to listen to the level of inhuman detachment that characterised much of the debate on this amendment. What was more disturbing was the fact that although this amendment only required pain relief for the unborn children after 20 weeks, it was still rejected.

This is despite the fact that peer reviewed evidence suggests that the unborn child can feel pain from as early as 18 weeks in the womb.

When put to a vote it was rejected by the Minister and the majority of TD’s by 61 votes to 22.

Those who voted IN FAVOUR of Amendment 37 are as follows:

Aylward, Bobby.
Butler, Mary.
Collins, Michael.
Curran, John.
Fitzmaurice, Michael.
Fitzpatrick, Peter.
Grealish, Noel.
Healy-Rae, Danny.
Healy-Rae, Michael.
Lowry, Michael.
MacSharry, Marc.
McGrath, Mattie.
Moynihan, Aindrias.
Murphy, Eugene.
Nolan, Carol.
O’Keeffe, Kevin.
O’Rourke, Frank.
Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Scanlon, Eamon.
Smith, Brendan.
Smyth, Niamh.
Tóibín, Peadar.

Watch the short intervention below from Deputy Michael Healy Rae outlining why at the very least we should act according to the precautionary principle and limit to the greatest possible extent the likelihood of the unborn child feeling pain.

 

(iv) That babies who survive abortion would be given medical attention (Amendment 38) 

The debate around this amendment was notable for a number of interventions that highlighted just how degraded and coarse the level of politically engagement on abortion has become in our national parliament.

For example; while describing his inspiring meeting with abortion survivor Melissa Ohden in Dublin, Deputy Danny Healy-Rae was interrupted by Fine Gael TD, Kate O’Connell. Danny had been detailing Melissa’s experience of being found alive in a bucket by a passing nurse following an abortion her mother had been coerced into undergoing.  However, instead of offering a sensitive or victim centred reply, Deputy O’Connell instead asked, “did she remember it well?’

Deputy O’Connell also made the incredible assertion that claims such as these were ‘fairytales’ thereby attacking not only the integrity and truthfulness of the survivors but also the trauma and pain that they carry to this day.

When the debate moved on to a discussion around the reality of abortion regret, a clear attempt not to be outdone in terms of vitriolic attacks was made by Deputy Lisa Chambers who described such painful regret as a “makey uppy thing.”

Again, such a statement defies the evidence.

It denies the reality of the thousands of women who live every day with the burden of having undergone a procedure that entrapped them in remorse while promising ‘liberation.’

Women Hurt, a group representing women who regret abortion have called on Deputy Chambers to apologise for her remarks.

Watch a 20 second video of Deputies O’ Connell and Chambers making their insensitive statements by clicking below

Minister Harris and the majority of TD’s rejected the amendment (by 59 votes to 25 votes) despite clear warnings from Deputy Michael Collins about how abortion will inevitably change the genuine healthcare culture that currently exists in Ireland.

See the video of Deputy Michael Collins below

Those who voted IN FAVOUR of Amendment 38 are as follows:

Aylward, Bobby.
Brassil, John.
Breathnach, Declan.
Butler, Mary.
Casey, Pat.
Collins, Michael.
Curran, John.
Fitzmaurice, Michael.
Fitzpatrick, Peter.
Grealish, Noel.
Healy-Rae, Danny.
Healy-Rae, Michael.
Lowry, Michael.
MacSharry, Marc.
McGrath, Mattie.
Moynihan, Aindrias.
Murphy, Eugene.
Nolan, Carol.
O’Keeffe, Kevin.
O’Rourke, Frank.
Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Scanlon, Eamon.
Smith, Brendan.
Smyth, Niamh.
Tóibín, Peadar

You can see the full list of vote results for all four Report Stage Amendments here

When the debate continues next week there will be a final opportunity for TD’s to accept basic and fundamentally humane amendments around conscientious protection of health care professionals the Dignified Disposal of the unborn child’s remains following a surgical abortion, Informed consent and others.

We live in hope that the open animosity and unyielding resistance to even minimal protections of the unborn child’s dignity will have diminished.

You can play your part by making contact with your TDs and asking them to support humane amendment and vote NO to the unjust Bill.  Please also THANK those TDs who have tabled and supported humane amendments.

Find your TDs contact details here

Thank you for your continued commitment to the pro-life cause.