Kelleher backs Eighth Amendment move

It is no longer acceptable for women to be treated as “second class citizens” and to be forced to fly abroad for terminations or take abortion pills, said Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kelleher.

It is no longer acceptable for women to be treated as “second class citizens” and to be forced to fly abroad for terminations or take abortion pills, said Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kelleher.

Delivering a speech on the abortion referendum, the health spokesman said that asking women to FedEx home remains of a dead baby in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities was “inhumane”.

The Cork North-Central TD said he had left his personal views at the door, after hearing testimonies in the Oireachtas committee which has recommended reforming the Constitution.

A number of opposition figures in the Dáil debate backed recommendations to remove the constitutional prohibitions on abortions.

Mr Kelleher said it is no longer acceptable that women be treated as “second-class citizens”. He also called claims that women use abortion as some type of a contraceptive are “deeply offensive”.

Every night, four or five women take abortion pills in Ireland, he said, and 10 women got on planes to access terminations abroad.

Mr Kelleher said he is “open” to suggestions about any follow-up legislation.

There are mixed views among TDs on committee recommendations to allow — in the event of repeal — unrestricted access to abortion for pregnancies up to 12 weeks.

Addressing the issue of couples having to travel abroad in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities, Mr Kelleher said the idea of asking parents to FedEx a baby’s remains home is “inhumane”.

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said clinicians had made it clear the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution had jeopardised women’s health

“It is now the time to right a fundamental wrong that occurred in 1983,” she said.

It is time for a human rights-based Constitution that acknowledges women as full people, she said.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin said the Constitution is not the place to determine laws on abortion. He backed recommendations for unrestricted access to abortions.

“How can we achieve the objective of many to allow for abortion in the case of rape or incest in any other way?” he said.

“It cannot be that we need a police investigation and court prosecution to have concluded before determining an abortion to be lawful.”

In the Seanad, Rónán Mullen (Ind) said if the Constitution is changed, it would remove the protection of unborn life.

Senator Paul Coghlan (FG) said Ireland should not go down the road of Britain where, he claimed, some 9m abortions had taken place.


Related Articles

LoveBoth calls on Minister to ban online abortion pill ads

'Hard cases' can be dealt with without full repeal of 8th, claims SF's Toibin

LoveBoth group reveal #TooFarForMe campaign; SF President asks where were the alternatives

Master of Rotunda: Doctors' hands tied by 8th Amendment; five former chairs refute his comments

More in this Section

Kidnap suspect killed after a massive manhunt but victim is still missing

Olivia, 9, cannot get on waiting list for spinal surgery

Simon Coveney: Abortion law hard to know by year end

Taoiseach’s Offaly canvass greeted by quiet streets


Breaking Stories

Judge imposes suspended jail term for fatal crash after SatNav error on way to Cliffs of Moher

Martin Callinan tells tribunal he did not order report of complaints against Maurice McCabe

Karen Bradley vows to pursue best Brexit deal for the North

Attacker who told victim 'if the cancer doesn't kill you, I will kill you' receives four-year jail term

Lifestyle

New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner