Creighton denies rift on abortion

Mon, Jan 21, 2013, 00:00

Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton has denied she is at odds with Taoiseach Enda Kenny over abortion legislation.

Ms Creighton has proposed an abortion Bill which would exclude suicide as grounds for carrying out the procedure.

Previously Mr Kenny said the Bill, when it comes before the Oireachtas later this year, will include the suicide provision.

Ms Creighton made her comments after an estimated 25,000 people took part in a 'Unite for Life' vigil organised by the Pro Life Campaign (PLC); Youth Defence; the Life Institute; and Family and Life in Dublin's Merrion Square at the weekend.

This morning Ms Creighton denied there was a rift with her party leader. “I don’t think we’re at odds, it’s just important to take time to consider the option in wording," she told RTÉ's Morning Ireland. The public and “many of my Fine Gael colleagues” have deep concerns over abortion and the Government needed to ensure whatever legislation it introduces is "restrictive".

She said she had “grave reservations” about accepting the risk of suicide as a grounds for abortion "because I think it’s very very difficult to identify a system that would allow for that while also ensuring we don’t open the floodgates".

Ms Creighton refused to say whether she would vote for the legislation if suicide was included. “I really want to see what the wording will be and I’m not going to commit myself to any course of action until I see the wording,” she said.

Meanwhile, Senator Rónán Mullen today accused the Taoiseach of adopting a “passive aggressive strategy” to undermine anti-abortion views after Mr Kenny said last night he was “branded as being worse than Herod” because of the Government’s move to legislate for limited abortion.

“The reality of being a public representative is that we all receive unpleasant and insulting comment from a small number of people, but I have not noticed the Taoiseach complaining about negative correspondence received on other issues," the Independent Senator said today. “It does seem like part of a Government strategy to distract from its controversial proposal to allow the destruction of unborn children on the unproven medical ground of suicide threat by a regrettable demonising of pro-life people.

"Speaking as one of such people who are determined to press our message in a cogent and courteous way, I find it offensive that the Taoiseach makes no acknowledgment that the vast majority of people are behaving and acting impeccably.”

An estimated 25,000 people took part in a 'Unite for Life' vigil organised by the Pro Life Campaign (PLC); Youth Defence; the Life Institute; and Family and Life in Dublin's Merrion Square yesterday.

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