Minister for Health James Reilly last night emphasised that “legislation supported by regulations will inform us to ensure that suicide will not be abused as it is perceived to be in other jurisdictions”.
Up to 20 Fine Gael TDs have raised doubts in recent months about the inclusion in any legislation of the threat of suicide as a ground for abortion. They include minister of state Lucinda Creighton; John O’Mahony; James Bannon; John Paul Phelan; Regina Doherty and Patrick O’Donovan.
Concerns of Fine Gael TDs were fanned by the Labour Party issuing six press statements from its TDs following the Government announcement, one of which claimed it represented a “victory” for the party. Fine Gael issued no statement.
Dr Reilly dismissed the contention that it was a victory for Labour, asserting there had been consensus around the Cabinet table. “What we are looking for is a victory for the women of Ireland,” he said.
Archbishops urge free vote on abortion as Kenny moves to reassure FG TDs (Stephen Collins, Patsy McGarry, Harry McGee, Kitty Holland, Irish Times)
(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)