Mattie McGrath tells TDs abortion legislation is 'humanitarian catastrophe'

Mattie McGrath tells TDs abortion legislation is 'humanitarian catastrophe'
Mattie McGrath

New abortion legislation has been described as a moral and humanitarian catastrophe.

TDs have been debating the proposed new laws in the Dáil this afternoon.

It took four months since the abortion referendum to get proposed laws into the Dáil and they're now being debated.

Minister Simon Harris wants them passed before Christmas.

"It’s time to end the lonely journeys," he said.

Time to finish lifting the shame and stigma that have cast shadows on so many lives. Time to ‘stop punishing tragedy’.

Fianna Fáil's Thomas Byrne, despite being a 'no' voter, said there should be minimal changes to the legislation in the Dáil.

"Everybody knew what was in this," he said.

"There is nobody can say they didn't know what they were voting on. I think that we need to pass this legislation, implement the will of the people."

While Sinn Féin's Louise O'Reilly called for the 72-hour waiting period between first consultation and getting an abortion to be scrapped.

"You know as well as I do, Minister, that no woman takes a decision such as this lightly," she said.

What this measure will do is restrict access in general but it will also restrict access to marginalised groups.

Independent Mattie McGrath was the only voice so far loudly against the introduction of the legislation as a whole.

"The Bill that we are due to debate, and I the term very loosely, represents a moral, political and humanitarian catastrophe, in my opinion," he said.

The debate continues this evening.

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