Creighton to vote with her conscience on abortion
Doherty rejects Minister’s claim that abortion issue dominated by group think
Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton has told the Dáil that she will vote in accordance with her conscience on the Government’s abortion Bill.
Ms Creighton is the most high-profile member of the party to have expressed uneasiness about the suicide clause and has called for a free vote. She is scheduled to meet Minister for health James Reilly today to discuss the prospect of amendments and is expected to speak during the debate.
Without saying which way she would vote on the legislation, the Minister of State said she would vote with her conscience.
“My personal view is that all I can do when making a decision on life and death is vote on my conscience.”
She said the suicide clause should be omitted completely and said the legislation should impose term limits for abortion, as in all other jurisdictions.
Ms Creighton said an amendment clarifying the legal term limit for a termination was necessary and it would provide a “firm legal basis” to what is already the interpretation of the Government; that viability outside the womb was the limit for carrying out a termination.
Speaking during the resumed debate on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill Ms Creighton also said she was “perplexed” at why legal representation for the unborn was not included.
Ms Creighton pointed out that “a baby one day old can be represented in the courts” and said she was “entirely perplexed” that legal representation for the unborn child is not in the legislation.
“If this Bill is genuinely to live up to its title... then it should simply aspire to do just that - provide protection to all lives. No more, no less,” she said.
“It must protect women whose lives may be in danger during pregnancy. We expect and demand that this be the case. It must also protect lives of babies in pregnancy, otherwise the title will simply be misleading.
She told the Dáil Dr Reilly had said there would be amendments to the legislation. She said took him at his word that the changes would be substantive and not procedural.
She said the legislation would be passed but she had stepped outside the “group think” which she genuinely believed had taken over in the debate on this legislation. “We saw it in the Haughey issue, we saw it in the Celtic Tiger and we see it on this issue”
She also told the Dáil this morning that abortion is not a Catholic issue, “it’s a human rights issue”.