REPORT: Bravo to all the superb pro-life TDs for speaking so powerfully and articulately and with great compassion - and for ensuring tonight's debate on late-term abortion in the Dáil. They pushed for the debate after it was revealed in a report from UCC published in the BJOG that late-term abortions were being carried out in Ireland and that babies born alive after abortion were left with doctors begging for help.
The TDs who spoke and ensured a debate were: Mattie McGrath, Carol Nolan, Michael HealyRae, Seán Canney, Noel Grealish, Peadar Tóibín, Richard O'Donoghue, Peter Fitzpatrick and Michael Collins.
That they have had to force a debate on one of the most horrendous accounts of how late term abortions are creating emotional trauma in the medical profession and agonising death to unborn children remains a scandal.
IN THE DÁIL tonight they said:
Mattie McGrath (IND): The reaction of doctors who are carrying out late-term abortions make for "grim reading". "One doctor said it was like "stabbing a baby in the heart" -one doctor was sick in the corridor after performing a late-term abortion known as feticide, where the baby receives a lethal injection into the heart. Deputy McGrath says its shocking, unspeakable and must end. Said Simon Harris dismissed concerns from TDs in 2018.
Carol Nolan (IND) said TDs were assured that babies would never be born alive after abortion and left without care but that it was now happening. "What are you going to about this?" she said to the government adding that it was shameful that the Health Minister was not here to take questions. "We will not allow this to be swept under the carpet. It's barbaric and shameful.
Deputy Seán Canney (IND): said that the report was an independent one, not produced by any group, and made for horrific reading. Urged the Minister to read and respond to the report. "We really need to look at this Minister and make sure our children are treated with dignity".
Peadar Tóibín (AONTÚ): "An unborn child is a living, distinct human being, as human as you or I and yet under your government currently late term abortions are being carried out." He said pain relief is not being used and asked the Minister on "an level of an humanitarian understanding of society how can you stand by this?" He said that Minister Stephen Donnelly (FF) had refused to ensure pain relief for babies in late-term abortion only last week.
Michael Collins (IND) said that people voted for repeal but they did not realise what would follow, including 6,666 abortions that took place in the first year. He said reading the doctors' descriptions of late-term abortion highlighted that it was a "terrible wrong".
Minister of State for Health, Frank Feighan, then spoke from a scripted answer which did not address the TDs' concerns. He said Minister Donnelly was "aware" of the BJOG paper.
The pro-life TDs then addressed his response:
Mattie McGrath said that it was shocking that the Minister had not come in to answer questions. He called for a ban on late-term abortion and an amendment to the abortion legislation.
Carol Nolan said that the Minister for State had not answered any of the questions by TDs and that he had given a purely scripted response. She said animals were treated better under the law than babies in late-term abortion. "This issue is not going to go away," she said.
Michael Collins said that if Minister Donnelly was aware of the UCC paper, then his response to the Dáil was very disappointing and that babies needed to be protected.
Seán Canney said that the response given in the Dáil dodged the question. "I would ask the Minister to look at the report ... the answer given here is disappointing," he said.
Peadar Tóibín said "I know that you're reading a script at the moment, but you have an individual responsibility over what you say in this chamber and over what is actually happening - the hundreds of words you spoke about add up to nothing, they mean mean business as usual, and it means that a boy or a girl who survives and abortion and who is a citizen of this country is allowed to expire potentially with no palliative care whatsoever and no effort to protect their lives. And Minister for you to come in and give this complete non-answer to such a shocking humanitarian situation in this country is absolutely so hard to listen to."
Minister for State Frank Feighan then said that he would ask the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, to give a written response to the questions that had been raised in the coming days.
Take a minute to THANK these pro-life TDs please
Michael Collins - Michael.Collins@oireachtas.ie
Mattie McGrath - Mattie.McGrath@oireachtas.ie
Carol Nolan - Carol.Nolan@oireachtas.ie
Peter Fitzpatrick - PeterM.Fitzpatrick@oireachtas.ie
Michael HealyRae - Michael.Healy-Rae@oireachtas.ie
Peadar Toibin - Peadar.Toibin@oireachtas.ie
Noel Grealish - Noel.Grealish@oireachtas.ie
Sean Canney - Sean.Canney@oireachtas.ie
Richard O'Donoghue - firstname.lastname@example.org
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