Daly criticises Varadkar on abortion statements

Independent TD claims every Irish family has experienced abortion

Independent TD Clare Daly: claimed every Irish family had experienced abortion, although ‘some of them may not know it’. File Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Independent TD Clare Daly: claimed every Irish family had experienced abortion, although ‘some of them may not know it’. File Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

Independent TD Clare Daly has criticised Minister for Health Leo Varadkar for saying a referendum on abortion should not take place in the run-up to a general election.

At an event to publicise a march by the Abortion Rights Campaign group on Saturday, Ms Daly said Mr Varadkar had been wrong to say that a referendum should not take place “on foot of a tragedy or a very hard case” in the Dáil last week.

“We say: ‘Why not?’ It is precisely the failure of this Government, like previous ones, to adequately deal with the need for proper abortion rights in Ireland that has brought the issue to the door of the general election run-in and sadly led to tragedies and ‘hard cases’ that have occurred,” she said.

Ms Daly claimed every Irish family had experienced abortion, although “some of them may not know it”.

She said women in Ireland had a legal right to access abortion through the right to travel but were unable to access abortion at home. “This is rank hypocrisy - an Irish solution to an everyday reality.”

The situation was extremely difficult for women who were economically disadvantaged or migrants, she added.

Dr Mark Murphy of the Doctors for Choice organisation criticised the recently-published guidelines on the circumstances for abortion which provide for early induction or Caesarean section.

“This is condescending law and a frankly dangerous precedent of malpractice to write into law,” he said.

He said Mr Varadkar and his Ministerial colleagues, along with previous administrations, were “far behind...in acknowledging public opinion on abortion”.

Participants in the third annual March for Choice are being encouraged to bring “wheelie cases”. The organisers say this is to represent “the exportation of abortion by the State and current Government”.