'Absolutely wrong' if No-vote TDs block abortion laws in event of Yes vote, say Ross, McGrath, Halligan

Finian McGrath

By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Political Correspondent

Pro-choice members of the Independent Alliance have warned pro-life TDs and senators not to block the 12-week abortion access legislation if there is a Yes vote on Friday, saying to do so would ignore the public's wishes and be "absolutely wrong".

Transport Minister Shane Ross, junior minister for skills John Halligan and Disabilities Minister Finian McGrath insisted the legislation must be fast-tracked, saying if this does not happen, their Dáil colleagues who oppose it will be "standing in the way of democracy".

Speaking during a 20-minute canvass on Grafton Street in Dublin City Centre in which Mr McGrath also repeated his 60:40 Yes vote referendum prediction, Mr Ross and Mr Halligan said the 12 weeks legislation must pass if the Eighth Amendment is removed.

Asked about concerns pro-life TDs and senators may try to filibuster on the proposed law, Mr Ross said: "If anybody was to try and filibuster this legislation it would be really terribly irresponsible. It's very serious legislation and the idea it would be delayed deliberately would be absolutely wrong."

Mr Halligan added: "If people vote Yes, everybody in the Dáil...will have to come to terms with the fact the majority of the public has voted Yes, and to get the legislation through as quickly as possible.

"I think the people of Ireland would want them to back it - that's what democracy is about. Are they saying they will not uphold the wishes of the people? I think that would be difficult."

At the same canvass - which saw the ministers largely receive Yes votes promises, despite Mr McGrath being told by a middle-aged no voter woman a foetus is "called a child" - Mr McGrath also repeated his view there will a 60:40 yes result.

"That was my prediction a month ago, I think that will be the final result," he said.

"I know people have been saying in recent days there has been a swing and a lot of people were labeling the 'don't know' voters as No voters, but I just know from my own experience over the last few days and even from being out here today, there's a lot of silent Yes voters out there," he said.

A three storey building warp unveiled on Kildare St by Love Both this afternoon

Meanwhile, campaigners for the LoveBoth campaign have unveiled a three-story building wrap with the slogan “It’s too extreme - Vote No” on Kildare Street opposite Leinster House.

Speaking at the event Dr. O’Regan said the poster aimed to send a clear message to government and their abortion proposals.

"In my practice nearly every day I treat women who are pregnant. I’m proud as a GP of the care we give to women in our community. The care we give saves lives, it does not involve deliberately ending the life of an unborn child. What this government is proposing is to allow abortion for any reason whatsoever up to 12 weeks.

"It is the most extreme abortion provision that any Irish government has ever proposed and it goes way beyond the law even in Britain where they have wide-ranging abortion.”

He continued: “From speaking to people who are undecided, I know many people who have changed over to ‘NO’ because the Government's abortion proposal is just too extreme.

"You cannot trust politicians to deal with only limited cases when they want to introduce abortion on demand in every GP clinic in every county in this country.”

Clare McCarthy of LoveBoth went on to say the message the group were getting out today was that the Government has used difficult, tragic cases to push through extreme abortion on demand.

"This is why people are increasingly voting 'No' to abortion this Friday.”

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