Senator pleads for an end to graphic abortion descriptions

A female senator was forced into revealing details of how she had carried a dead baby in a desperate effort to stop members using “absolutely disgraceful” language to describe abortion procedures.

Darragh O’Brien, the Fianna Fáil leader in the House, moved to “disassociate” himself from “graphic” comments by his colleagues.

Despite the presence of children in the visitors’ gallery, Fianna Fáil’s Jim Walsh used descriptions of scissors and suction machines as he went through his understanding of how abortions take place. After he persisted, the Labour senator, Marie Moloney, appealed to the chair to make him stop. The Kerry senator said: “The phraseology being used here today is absolutely disgraceful.”

Visibly emotional, she added: “I had a baby inside of me that didn’t live, that was dead. And that baby was taken from me but it was taken under anaesthetic and I think the carry on in here in disgraceful.”

Mr Walsh said he was sorry if he caused offence, but he was not sorry that he was telling the truth.

Brian Ó Domhnaill, refused to withdraw comments he made on Wednesday, that allowing abortions in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities would “deprive future Special Olympics athletes of being born”.

The legislation has passed committee stage in the Seanad and goes to report stage on Monday.

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