Fatal foetal abnormality ‘an issue for next government’

Paschal Donohoe believes current law is causing suffering and should be changed

The issue of a legal termination in the case of fatal foetal abnormality should be dealt with by the next government, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe has said. Mr Donohoe was speaking to journalists in Dublin on Monday in advance of Tuesday’s Dáil vote on Independent TD Clare Daly’s Private Member’s Bill

The issue of a legal termination in the case of fatal foetal abnormality should be dealt with by the next government, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe has said. Mr Donohoe was speaking to journalists in Dublin on Monday in advance of Tuesday’s Dáil vote on Independent TD Clare Daly’s Private Member’s Bill

 

The issue of a legal termination in the case of fatal foetal abnormality should be dealt with by the next government, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe has said.

He said while Fine Gael had not yet decided whether to include a commitment to support it in its general election manifesto, he personally believed the issue was causing suffering to mothers and families who were already facing great difficulty and upset.

“I believe the current situation should be changed, and I would want to see the next government do this,’’ he added.

“I do know, from experience of these matters already, that much thought needs to go into what takes the place of existing law.’’

He said time was required to examine the issue, but he did want to see it resolved in the next Dáil’s lifetime.

Mr Donohoe was speaking to journalists in Dublin on Monday in advance of Tuesday’s Dáil vote on Independent TD Clare Daly’s Private Member’s Bill, allowing a termination in cases where two medical professionals certify that a foetus has a condition that would not give it any prospect of viability outside the womb.

There are indications that as many as 14 Labour TDs will not support the Government when it votes down the Bill on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.

Mr Donohoe said the legal advice given to the Government was a matter for the Attorney General.

“My experience of other matters to date has been that the AG’s advice to the Government does tend to be in private and it is up to the line departmental minister to give a view on it, which is what the Minister for Health did on Friday,’’ he added.

Mr Donohoe said for those reasons he believed it would not be appropriate for the current Bill to be adopted.