13th July 2012

The Pro Life Campaign has accused Fine Gael of resorting to ‘spin’ in an attempt to fend off criticism of Minister for Health, James Reilly’s statement that Ireland ‘must’ introduce an abortion regime.

In an email to its TDs and Senators, the Fine Gael press office described last week’s reports quoting the Minister for Health as “fundamentally flawed and substantially incorrect.” However, the press office refused to be drawn on where precisely the reports were inaccurate.

In response, the Pro Life Campaign said there “was nothing flawed or incorrect in the newspaper reports. The Minister for Health’s statement that abortion ‘must’ be introduced in Ireland was as clear as day.”

Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro Life Campaign said that Minister Reilly’s comments remain “an extremely worrying development that throws in doubt whether Fine Gael will stand over, or betray, its solemn written commitment to the electorate not to bring in abortion.

“Senior members of Fine Gael need to take responsibility for a process that is fast derailing into public farce with a Fine Gael Minister now publicly touting as official policy that Ireland ‘must’ bring in abortion. Fine Gael needs to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation not try to spin its way out of the controversy. As things stand, Minister Reilly has primed the Expert Group to report back with a narrow list of options, all leading to abortion.

“This is an outrage given Ireland’s outstanding record in caring for mothers and babies in pregnancy without recourse to abortion”, Dr Cullen concluded.

The Government’s Expert Group was due to issue its report at the end of July. It was confirmed this week that the report will not now be published until the end of September.