Taoiseach Enda Kenny has received hundreds of vitriolic letters warning him against introducing abortion with some comparing him to ruthless dictators and others warning him the blood of children will be on his hands.
Others pressed him to stand up to the Church and to “drag Ireland into the 21st century” by legislating for abortion in limited circumstances following the death of Indian woman Savita Halappanavar.
Fine Gael voters on both sides of the debate have pledged to abandon the party at the next general election, in hundreds of letters sent to him, his ministers, and TDs and obtained by the Irish Examiner.
The Taoiseach is compared to dictators Hitler, Stalin, and Cambodia’s Pol Pot and told he will be worse than them if he lets the abortion legislation through. Elsewhere, a woman warns he will “rot in hell” if he fails to legislate for terminations.
Letters were sent by members of the public, doctors, priests, obstetricians, academics, and politicians among others after Ms Halappanavar’s death last year and as the abortion bill was drafted in recent months.
Labour is compared to the “party of death” in the Coalition with one female writer even suggesting there is “no difference between killing Jews and the deliberate killing of the unborn child”.
However, some couples share their heartfelt stories with Mr Kenny about fatal foetal abnormalities, including one parent’s description of having to go to full term with a baby which had no brain and died at birth. The Government says it will not legislate for such cases.
Some shocking letters to Mr Kenny and coalition ministers are critical of the Halappanavars, are racist, and criticise comments by Indian authorities in the wake of her death.
*Other writers attach videos and images to their emails condemning moves to legislate for abortion;
*A nurse outlines to Mr Kenny by letter in graphic detail how she helped carry out abortions in London;
*Atheists complain that they have not been afforded the same meeting the Church was granted with the Taoiseach;
*Politicians warn Mr Kenny that elected representatives “will be judged” by voters on the issue;
*A group of US students call for a boycott on all travel to Ireland until the X case is legislated for.
European Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton is almost certain to vote against the abortion bill when it comes before the Dáil tonight.
Ms Creighton, who is against abortion in cases of threatened suicide, left the door slightly open for herself to support the bill.
She said she would be “more comfortable” voting for the legislation if it included one of her proposed amendments which envisages putting in place a comprehensive package of care to help suicidal women continue their pregnancy.
However, her proposal was dismissed by one medical expert as “totally impractical” and the indications from Government last night were that no changes would be made to suit her.
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