Sinn Féin believes that terminations should be allowed if the woman is the victim of rape, incest, or if the woman’s life or health is in grave danger. This bill is an important step in the right direction.
Our policy on the issues contained in this bill has not changed in 20 years. Our TDs are bound to vote in line with that policy. That is the democratic will of our members.
The bill fails to deal with the situation of fatal foetal abnormalities. This reality will not be wished away. We must not avoid this reality for another 20 years. This is the time to address this tragic situation. Criminalising women who travel to have terminations must be consigned to history.
I recognise this is a difficult issue for many people. Particularly those women who feel this State has let them down over the years. These are the women, up to 5,000 every year, who find themselves making the lonely journey to England to access abortions. This State can be a cold, unsupportive place for the women of Ireland.
Brian Stanley TD