The No More Shame Project launches tonight in the Mariah Black Gallery in the Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin St, Cork. The project, led by Laura Kinsella, a researcher and activist media producer, and Liz Dunphy, journalist and filmmaker, aims to break the silence of the 12 women who leave Ireland daily to terminate pregnancies. “For too long a culture of silence has choked progress, ensuring continued legal barriers to basic reproductive rights,” says Dr Sandra McEvoy of the department of women’s studies at University College Cork.
A TFMR group sat in the Dáil yesterday as Waterford TD John Halligan, an Independent, appealed to Taoiseach Enda Kenny during Leaders’ Questions to include an amendment from the TFMR in the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
This would allow for terminations in Ireland, for pregnant women diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality.
While delivering his question, above, Mr Halligan said four women a day, or 1,500 a year, are told they are carrying an unviable foetus every day in Ireland.
He told Mr Kenny that the TFMR group had legal advice that the Government can include for fatal foetal abnormalities in the Bill.
Mr Kenny responded:
“The Bill going through the House on the protection of life during pregnancy is strictly within the Constitution and the law and deals specifically with cases in which there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother and the circumstances that arise in those cases in which a termination is allowed under the Constitution and the law. In that sense, while I understand the point the Deputy is making, this is a different set of circumstances which are not contemplated under the Bill.”
To which Deputy Halligan replied.
With a story.
“The best thing to do in the one minute available to me is to tell the Taoiseach a story of a woman I met who is too traumatised to be here today with all of the women present. She has told me that she went through with the birth having been recommended not to do so because the foetus was so badly damaged and it might have a traumatic effect on her. The young baby lived for approximately 25 seconds.
“That was three years ago. I have to be blunt on this. This woman concerned is deeply traumatised. She is unable to have sexual relations with her husband, after three years. She is ill. She wakes up with nightmares almost every night because of what she saw. That is not compassion. 87% of the people of Ireland have said in an opinion poll that women should have the choice, if they are told that the foetus was incompatible with life. And would you not accept that forcing these women to go through with this, that we are damaging their lives, their lives? We are damaging their husbands’ lives, their partners’ lives and their family…forever? And with that behind you Taoiseach, of almost 87% of people, you are Taoiseach of this country, and with the deepest respect to you – I informed you I would raise this issue today – the women concerned do not need compassion. They have their partners, families and friends and the medical profession. They need help, they need help. And finally, I’m sorry Ceann Comhairle, but finally, they did meet the Minister for Health, who was deeply moved I’m told when he met these women in June, deeply moved and promised that he would do something. What that something is I don’t know but they’re the words of the minister. I again ask the Taoiseach and every other member to look up at these women and their husbands and tell them you will not allow another 1,500 women to suffer next year in the way many of them have suffered.”
Those who wish can ask their TD to include the TFMR group’s amendment in the Bill here.
Dáil transcripts: Oireachtas.ie
Top, from left Arlette Lyons ,Fiona Walsh,Ruth Bowie, Sarah McGuinness,Julie O Donnell,Agatha Corcoran,Deirdre Conroy and Gaye Edwards all from TMFRA outside the dail last month.
(Leon Farrell/Photocal Ireland)
“I am not sure why I am writing this email, I have never written an email like this but I wanted to share the experience I am going through in the event that it might give you some insights into the challenging few months that are ahead of me as a result of the abortion legislation in Ireland.”
“I am a 33-year-old married woman, pregnant with our much-anticipated, wanted and longed for first child – the excitement of welcoming our first child as I am sure you are familiar with, is huge.”
“However our world crumbled last week when the 20-week scan showed fluid in the brain and after some tests in Holles St our little boy has been diagnosed with Trisomy 13 also known as Patau Syndrome – a syndrome that is known to be incompatible with life, one where we are likely to lose our little boy at any day or if we were to go full term where he will only live for hours or days at the most.”
“We were faced with the huge decision of what to do next; the realisation that we have no choice and that I am now caught up on the Irish abortion debate as a 33-year-old married woman is overwhelming.”
“We have decided not to travel to another country where we would have options; another country that would look after our needs better than the Irish medical system can. We have decided to allow nature to take its course – which means putting our lives on hold for five months; waking every morning not knowing if this is going to be the day that I will miscarry or whether I have to face another well wisher congratulating me on my ever expanding bump telling me ‘isn’t it so exciting’ or ‘summer is a lovely time to have a baby’- yes it would be a lovely time to have a baby but unfortunately medicine tells us that this baby is incompatible with life, is unlikely to make it full term and if it does he will like only last hours or days at most….however the Irish Government would prefer to put us through what will be the toughest months of our lives…”
“We talked about the fact that if termination was an option in Ireland – would we have gone down that route? We cannot answer that question but the fact that the choice has been made for us by people in government adds to the heartache of the whole situation. We are grieving for a baby that will never live, a baby that will be with us in the womb-only for possibly 5 more months or possibly 5 more days, a baby that will be loved unconditionally and a medical system that is prolonging this painful process far longer than is necessary.”
“To sum it up, my email is essentially for you to consider babies with terminal illnesses when your team is discussing the abortion debate, it is not just about women whose lives are in danger it is also about the well being of women like me who are faced with a long road that will ultimately lead to a heartbreaking end.”
“Doctors should have the power to assess a situation and offer an option of inducing labour if people are faced with this situation – it is not an abortion, it is offering women the option to termination a pregnancy on medical grounds – I urge you strongly to consider the difference for any legislation changes that are being considered.”
“Thank you for taking the time to read my email.”
An email to Enda Kenny on February 5. The author says she received no response or acknowledgement from the Taoiseach’s office. She then resent it on April 17, requesting an acknowledgement which she received from Patricia Collins, Mr Kenny’s assistant private secretary. She gave birth to a stillborn baby boy on May 4.
Human Rights Ireland – a blog run by academics, mostly lawyers, interested in human rights – have claimed a letter that appeared in the Irish Times’ print edition last Thursday (June 13) did not appear online.
The letter concerned Health Minister Dr James Reilly’s insistence that the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill could not include legislation to allow for women, carrying foetuses with fatal abnormalities, to have terminations in Ireland.
The 43 academics who signed the letter maintain Dr Reilly could and should have included the legislation.
We understand that the Minister for Health has been advised that it is not possible to include terminations for fatal foetal abnormality in the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, 2013. With respect, our initial response is to disagree. It is possible to interpret Article 40 3 3 so that the ‘unborn’ that is protected therein does not include those foetuses with fatal abnormalities. The Irish courts have not considered this legal issue and there is no binding precedent excluding such an interpretation.
Moreover, the Legislature has the power, and the duty, to legislate under the Constitution. When Justice (Niall) McCarthy criticised the Legislature for failing to regulate the terms of Article 40 3 3 in the X case in 1992, he was speaking of a duty that existed prior to that case. The interpretation and regulation of Article 40 3 3 is not limited to the circumstances which arose in X. That case showed how the general principle, of vindicating unborn life with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, justified a termination in the particular circumstances of suicide risk. A different set of factual circumstances, such as those of fatal foetal abnormality, could also legally justify a termination of pregnancy given that these ‘unborns’ will not live once born. Therefore, it is within the Legislature’s power to act on this possibility and regulate for these circumstances.
The State used this legal argument to defend itself against the unsuccessful claim of Deirdre Conroy in the European Court of Human Rights, as she explained in The Irish Times on 31 May 2013. The High Court declined the opportunity to address this argument in D v HSE. The Court ruled instead that D, who was pregnant with an anencephalic foetus, could travel for a termination of pregnancy. The women of Termination for Medical Reasons, including Ruth Bowie and Arlette Lyons, have spoken publicly of being unable to access the healthcare they wanted in Ireland when their pregnancies were found to be unviable. In these circumstances, the Legislature has a moral as well as a legal duty to act now and include abortion for fatal foetal abnormalities within the Bill.
We urge the Minister to publish his legal advice on this issue so that it can be assessed and discussed. We ask the Minister to reconsider his position and to minimise the suffering of those women and couples who wish to end their unviable pregnancies at home.
Arlette Lyons, pictured above centre with Ruth Bowie and Jenny McDonald during a Late Late Show appearance, is continuing to campaign for legislation to allow pregnant women diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality to have a termination in Ireland, instead of having to travel abroad.
Arlette’s mother Mary (top with one of her grandchildren), has written the following to Galway Fine Gael TD, Brian Walsh in respect of her daughter’s experience:
Thank you for your reply. That email was sent to you by my Husband Pat. It also represents my views.”
“I retired from City Council in January 2011. I met you many times but I am sure you don’t remember me because of all the people you meet and have to smile and be friendly towards. Don’t know how you do it actually!”
“Here is what I hate. Our country is laden down by our church and politicians who are mainly men. We all know about Man Flu!! A bit of a sore throat and they are dying. I know if I ever got a sore throat I had the deadly job of looking down Pats throat to see if he had one also! I feel if only one man had to go through a pregnancy things would be a whole lot different.”
“The point I am getting to is this. Men have not got a clue what women go through when they become pregnant, The hormones, the weight gain, sleep deprivation being uncomfortable etc etc. Now this is grand when the outcome is going to be a lovely tiny baby which gives such joy and pleasure. I know all about this as I have 5 great kids and 15 Grandchildren. Arlette is due another baby in 8 weeks time and the whole family are over the moon and hoping that every thing will be fine.”
“Our position is this. Arlette became pregnant last year after trying for another baby for 2 years. She has 2 lovely sons age 10 and 6. When she went for her 12 week scan she was told that the baby had triscomy 13 and d with a large cystic hygroma. (Google it,it is devastating)She was told that the baby had no hope of surviving outside the womb. After getting this information from her Obstetrician she was then told that there was nothing the hospital could do for her because of our outdated legislation. There was absolutely NO CHANCE of the baby surviving, so she had 2 options. One was to carry the baby until she would have a spontaneous miscarriage, the other choice was to go to England. (we have been dumping our problems over there for so long)”
“Her 2 boys were so excited about this baby. She had also told the whole family and her big circle of friends. So she thought, what do I do, do I go to bed some night and miscarry the baby, which might not have a face or some other terrible abnormalities, or do I go to England and have a termination.”
“She chose the latter. she told her boys that the baby had died in her tummy.They were devastated. She then had to leave them to be taken care of while her Husband Alan and Pat and myself accompanied her to the Women’s Hospital in Liverpool. What an awful journey for any women to have to take. Her option was that the boys would be still expecting a little Brother or Sister and everybody else would be saying the usual “how are you doing Arlette” “looking forward to the big event”etc etc!! Not a real option is it??
“Luckily Liverpool Women’s Hospital were wonderful. All her files from The Coombe Hospital were sent over plus she had 2 more scans to confirm that the baby had no chance of survival in the womb. By the way the baby was a little girl who we named Skye and we often refer to her. I am crying thinking about her lost life as I write this email.”
“So Arlette was in the Hospital for about 5 hours, We came out and we had booked a room in a Hotel so she could lie down for a few hours. The worst bit was that we had to leave little Skye in Liverpool. I know she was only 14 weeks but we would have loved to have brought her home. Arlette is still very very angry, her own country could not help her in her time of need. ”
“I could go on but suffice it to say that Arlette and a few other wonderful women who had the same experience formed TFMR (termination for medical reasons) and they are doing trojan work. Women came forward who had not even disclosed this information with their parents and family because of the way so many people still think here in Ireland. They have been to the Dail, on television and on every radio station in the country. This is a side to Arlette that I had never seen before and she is 34 years of age. I watched her on the Late late and Vincent Browne. She was wonderful and articulated her situation with great passion.”
“I don’t expect you to change your views after hearing this particular story but maybe it might give you something to think about. I can vouch that you are a very nice man but there will be no votes from Arlette’s family and friends.”
“I wish you good luck in your career and hope that you can help turn Ireland’s fortunes around.”
Previously: Selective Hearing
Termination For Medical Reasons, which consists of couples who’ve had to travel to the UK for a termination after getting a fatal diagnosis of their unborn child, are surprised that that a group called Women Hurt will get to brief Oireachtas members today.
Women Hurt is a group of women who regret having had abortions.
Their briefing, organised by Fine Gael TD Billy Timmins, top, comes ahead of the Oireachtas Health Committee hearings which begin on Friday.
TFMR have repeatedly requested the same opportunity to meet with TDs but have been turned down.
Previously: Where Is Your Decency?
— David Quinn (@DavQuinn) May 2, 2013
— David Quinn (@DavQuinn) May 2, 2013
— Cora Sherlock (@CoraSherlock) May 2, 2013
— Cora Sherlock (@CoraSherlock) May 2, 2013
— Cora Sherlock (@CoraSherlock) May 2, 2013
— Cora Sherlock (@CoraSherlock) May 2, 2013
— Cora Sherlock (@CoraSherlock) May 3, 2013
Earlier: Where Is Your Decency?
Miriam O’Callaghan was joined on last night’s ‘Prime Time’ by Sarah McGuinness (middle) of TFMR (Termination For Medical Reasons) and Dr Berry Kiely (top), medical adviser to the Pro-Life Campaign.
To debate the lack of provision for women who experience a fatal foetal abnormality in the proposed abortion legislation.
It was a new low.
Miriam O’Callaghan: “Well now to the ongoing debate about the proposed new abortion legislation. On so many levels we know this is such a sensitive debate. None more so perhaps than the very tragic aspect that is fatal foetal abnormality. This hasn’t been provided for in the new proposed legislation. Some people feel very strongly that this is a serious omission, others of course disagree,. Well to debate that I’m joined here in studio by Sarah McGuinness and also by Dr Berry Kiely. Sarah, first of all I know you had a very personal history with your baby daughter Molly. Tell me about that.”
Sarah McGuinness: “We were diagnosed very late Miriam actually at 26 weeks. We were told by the maternity hospital that our daughter had the condition, anencephaly. For anybody that’s not aware, that means that she will have little or no brain. She’ll have no skull. And we were told by the consultant that she would not survive outside the womb. Em..After the shock and everything else em, then we said “Okay”, we just thought that straight away they would induce me. Where they would bring me in the next day and induce me. And the consultant told me under Irish Catholic law, there is nothing they could do for me until I was at least the 40 weeks, that I would have to carry her another 3 months. And we were just floored and then she said “Or you travel”.
And of course Miriam this was all new to us and we were like “What?” and she said “Oh you travel to England and have your baby delivered early there”. So after the shock and after getting water and I suppose after just digesting what she told us, I’ll never forget I just said to her “What would you do in our circumstance?” and she said “Your baby has no chance of survival outside the womb. I would travel”.
So anyway the week after, after the…the hospital offered us no support. They weren’t allowed to but we were told that Liverpool Women’s Hospital was a great hospital to go to. They deal specifically with women with fatal foetal abnormalities. They give the second opinion when you go there. They will not perform an early delivery or a termination unless they’ve double checked that your baby has a fatal condition. And anyway over there together with my husband and my father and my husband’s mother ah we were there and they delivered my my baby over there.
So this was around Christmas, this was December 2009 and we traveled Miriam at that time with people going over celebrating holiday festivities. And we came back on the boat, my father decided we’ve to come back on the boat for more comfort for me. And again we came back with people in holiday festivities and we had to leave our daughter in a morgue in the hospital in Liverpool.”
O’Callaghan: “Oh I’m so sorry. Would it have made a big difference to you Sarah to be able to have that here, not to have to go to Liverpool?”
McGuinness: “Oh of course. Oh my God. The trauma, the added trauma. We were given the worst news of our life that our daughter was not going to survive and then to be told “Well there’s nothing more we can do for you unless you carry your baby for another 3 months”. So you’re leaving the care providers that have looked after you throughout your whole pregnancy, who are very very good but their hands are tied. So you’re leaving them, you’re leaving your friends, you’re leaving your family and making this awful trek over across the water.”
O’Callaghan: “Berry Kiely, when you hear a story like Sarah’s you can understand why a lot of people would feel that is an omission in the legislation that that is not catered for.”
Dr Berry Kiely: “A story like Sarah’s is heartrending there’s no doubt about that. My heart goes out to you Sarah. It’s an incredibly difficult tragic situation. It has to be, it has to rank among the worst bit of news that any mother can get. And I don’t think anything that I say or anybody else would say, you know I have no desire if you like to like to wound Sarah in any way or to make that more difficult for you because it genuinely is.
But I think at the heart of this debate is the issue of whether or not we want to care for and cherish and respect all, all human lives, including the unborn and including those with a terminal illness as in the case of Sarah’s baby. And whether if you like, because the fact that a child has a terminal illness. Em how do we react to that? How do we respond to it?
If you were to think if Sarah’s baby was already born and had a diagnosis of a terminal illness, what would we do? Obviously we would give whatever treatment the baby, you know, what would be helpful to the baby and we would give Sarah and her and her husband and her family all the support.”
O’Callaghan: “Excuse me sorry to be cutting in but from Sarah’s point of view then just because you said it to me a moment ago just there. I suppose if you have that diagnosis and you’re going to carry a baby and you know it’s totally incompatible with life. That’s what you’re talking about here. Is it not…is it very unfair on a mother to have to do that?”
Kiely: “It’s very difficult. There’s no doubt about that but I think also even a phrase like ‘incompatible with life’, you have to ask yourself what does that mean? How long is this baby likely to live? Some won’t even be born alive but some will. Some will live for minutes, some will live for days. There have even been some who have lived for months and you’ve to ask yourself “What do you do in this situation?”. When you know somebody is dying, and you know that there’s nothing, there’s nothing I can do. There’s nothing anyone can do to change that fact.”
O’Callaghan: “What would you say to that?”
McGuinness: “We were told that women in our group have been told that we’re all in the same position that the diagnosis is fatal. We can only go by what the care providers tell us, what these qualified consultants tell us and they told me Miriam there was absolutely no chance for my daughter. So why would people in this country make me grow a baby bigger just to watch it suffer and die?
An anencephalic baby will not live. Yes, they might live a few hours but why at 26 weeks would they make me grow a baby even bigger just purely to let it suffer and die? Why? There’s no terminal illness there, the baby is going to die outside the womb. Why why put a woman through that? Why put a baby through..? Why make me watch my baby scramble for a few breaths and die? A baby cannot survive without their brain, that’s just heartbreaking. Why make it worse on families in this country?”
McGuinness: “Miriam, can I just make one point? Ireland and Malta are the only countries in Europe that this happens to. If this had happened to me in Belgium or Poland or England, I wouldn’t have this extra heartache.”
O’Callaghan: “Let Berry Kiely come in I suppose on that point…”
Kiely: “She’s absolutely right if there had been in another because those countries don’t actually have that culture of respect for life.”
O’Callaghan: “But what about those?”
Kiely: “No. Hold on a minute.”
Kiely: “Those are actually cultures, by and large, if you’re terminally ill you can get euthanasia. And this is, it’s equivalent. It’s a similar type of argument. I mean, as I said, my heart goes out to Sarah and to every other woman. I mean a friend of mine was in a very similar situation earlier this year and I saw her going through it all.
Now her baby lived for two days which turned out to be a great joy for her that she had those two days and that was sort of wonderful for her.”
O’Callaghan: “Now let me put it in a question and I think it is interesting, like in the case of Sarah it’s just so sad.”
O’Callaghan: “Because her baby had a fatal foetal abnormality. I understand though could you possibly have a situation that it could’ve been included in the legislation for that kind of abnormality? But not exclude, not include something like a syndrome or something like a child could possibly live for 12 years? I mean in that case of her baby, that baby was honestly not going to live Berry.”
Kiely: “Not going to live but there are for example in the medical literature babies with anencephaly who have lived for months. So where do you draw the line? Where do you decide this is, this much yes, that much no? Because ultimately it comes back to us saying, are we saying that because somebody is going to be very seriously ill, very seriously handicapped, very seriously damaged, that that particular baby is one in which we don’t have to cherish and we don’t have to look after. Now can I just say sorry before we go because this is really important.”
O’Callaghan: “Briefly Berry. I do need to get Sarah because she is the mother here.”
Kiely: “This is really important because what Sarah was not offered and what I think she should be offered and what every mother in her situation should be offered but we’re not offering it because we don’t have it in this country which is perinatal hospice which would provide infinitely more support than what we are able to provide.”
O’Callaghan: “Okay. Let Sarah come back.”
McGuinness: “Frankly, I find that very upsetting that someone put an idea of a perinatal hospice to me when again all I can go by was the care providers told me, my baby was fatal and would not survive.”
Kiely: “I’m sorry you were given that advice.”
McGuinness: “A perinatal hospice would not have helped me in my case. Molly was going to die no matter what. The outcome was going to be the same.”
Kiely: “Perinatal hospice looks after you in your pregnancy….”
McGuinness: “But why make a woman break her heart even further for another 3 months. Let me go to work and people asking me “Is your, is your nursery all ready? How are you keeping?”. What about women’s mental health? You would have to lock yourself away. I would’ve in my case for another 3 months , Miriam.”
Kiely: “That’s what perinatal hospice helps you deal with. Perinatal hospice comes into effect once the diagnosis is made, it’s not after the birth.”
McGuinness: “So what’s a perinatal hospice? You’re going to lock me away for another 3 months?”
Kiely: “Why would you want to lock you? It’s to give you that help and that support and the the network of women perhaps going through a similar situation suffering with the same….working out all of those…helping you work out all of those.”
O’Callaghan: “Shouldn’t that be a mother’s choice though Berry I suppose in that fatal foetal? I’m just asking…”
Kiely: “Well can I ask you? No but what about then the people in a situation like this who would argue for post-birth abortion, that if the baby is born alive and does live for a while but the mother finds this very difficult to deal with. Should that mother have the right to have her baby killed even though it’s still living?”
O’Callaghan: “But no one is saying that.”
Kiely: “But that’s an important issue.”
O’Callaghan: “But no one is suggesting that I don’t think Berry Kiely.”
Kiely: “But they are unfortunately Miriam that’s the problem. Again, I come back to the same point, what’s at root here is whether or not we cherish the lives of those who are seriously ill?”
O’Callaghan: “Okay. A last word to you Sarah McGuinness.”
McGuinness: “All we’re looking for Miriam is a choice. Stop treating women like this. We want a choice. It’s just barbaric the way women in this country are being treated.”
O’Callaghan: “Okay. Well look Berry Kiely I appreciate you coming in tonight. Sarah McGuinness thank you very much and I’m very sorry about your daughter Molly.”
McGuinness: “Thank you.”
Kiely: “Me too.”
Previously: When Dr Boylan Met Dr Kiely
Three women who had pregnancies in which their babies were diagnosed with abnormalities “incompatible with life”, with each “travelling” to have those pregnancies terminated, appeared on last night’s Late Late show.
Their story was featured on the front page of the Irish Times during the week.
The women, top from left: Ruth Bowie, Arlette Lyons and Jenny McDonald told Ryan Tubridy about a meeting they had with 25 TDs and senators at Leinster House on Wednesday to explain their predicament. It was in their own words a tearful and emotional encounter.
Jenny McDonald: “The TDs have been sitting on this for 20 years. That’s what makes me angry. This cannot happen to our children.”
Ryan Tubridy: “Did you say that to the TDs this week?”
Ruth Bowie: “We cried in front of them. We pleaded with them”
Tubridy: “What did you say to them?”
Bowie: “That you have to change this. This is a human rights issue. You cannot do this to us. You cannot turn your back on us. Force us out of our country, away from our families, and treat us like this. It’s barbaric and cruel.”
Tubridy: “Did you feel they were listening?”
Arlette Lyons: “Some of them did. Some of them were lovely and compassionate. We did have one particular TD who was extremely nasty to us.”
Tubridy: “Sorry say that again?”
Lyons: “We had one TD who wasn’t very pleasant.”
Tubridy: “Why not?”
Lyons: “He just wasn’t very pleasant to us but…that’s fine.”
Tubridy: “He just didn’t agree with what you were saying obviously. Again, as there are people now watching who despite everything won’t be happy with what they hear…”
This follows a comment on the Magic Mum forum on Thursday from a woman who said she had been at the meeting:
“I had one TD smirking at us yesterday while we sold our souls on the heartbreak of what we went through he actually had a smile on his face while we were bawling giving them our stories. I have never wanted to smack someone so hard in the face like I wanted to him yesterday. This nasty little man was Ronan Mullen. Please never ever ever vote for him.”
[Ronan Mullen is, in fact, a senator for the NUI Seanad constituency]
“He told me I should [have] carried my baby until the end because Ireland has the best palliative care in the world, he also said that he was sponsoring [a] child in Africa that had one of the conditions that the other girl Ruth’s baby had. Then he asked one of us at the end of our session, on the quiet, he said “What is your real agenda here?”. This was to a girl who lost her daughter Aoife at 22 weeks.”
Watch in full here.
Mullen told TheJournal.ie today that he would be “horrified at any suggestion that I was nasty to anyone at that meeting, especially the women who came to tell their stories”.
I would say there was no single politician in that room who did not feel sympathy for those women, regardless of their opinion on abortion. They were treated with respect and sensitivity at all times.”
— TFMR (@MTFMRAII) April 21, 2012
fyi re senetor ronan mullen his words were “you have a bigger agenda dont you” nasty comment to someone who had just lost their child END OF
— TFMR (@MTFMRAII) April 21, 2012