20th July 2012

The backing of 15 or more Fine Gael TDs and Senators for the party’s election pledge to oppose abortion legislation has been described as “a welcome move to support human life and protect women’s health,” by the Pro Life Campaign.

In a statement, spokesperson Dr Ruth Cullen said that the strong opposition expressed at the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party “showed that there were still politicians for whom election promises meant something.”

Responding to suggestions from members of the Labour Party that Fine Gael TDs opposed to abortion legislation are guilty of “cowardice”, Dr Cullen said: “It is sad that those on the so-called pro-choice side of the abortion debate are unwilling to allow politicians the choice of opposing abortion on principle. This attitude does nothing to help a calm and rational debate.

“The fact that many politicians remain opposed to abortion shows their commitment to retaining Ireland’s pro-life culture and its pro-woman medical practices. It also shows that they are paying attention to the growing body of evidence highlighting the negative effects of abortion on women.

“There was every justification for the criticism of James Reilly’s handling of the issue by his parliamentary party colleagues. The Minister has repeatedly misrepresented the European Court of Human Rights judgement in A, B and C v. Ireland by stating that Ireland was obliged to legislate for abortion on foot of this ruling. He has also given the impression that he expects a very narrow list of options from the Expert Group, all leading to abortion. This is totally unacceptable not least because the X case decision on which any legislation would be based  heard no medical evidence and set no time limits for when an abortion could take place. This would de facto amount to abortion on demand.

“It is remarkable that the legalisation of abortion continues to be portrayed by some as the only ‘progressive’ and ‘courageous’ option, when that option entails the killing of an utterly innocent human life.”