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Sinn Féin welcomes publication of Heads of Bill

1 May, 2013 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams TD, has welcomed the publication by the government of the Heads of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
Teachta Adams said that Sinn Féin is determined that this legislation must provide clarity for medical practitioners and protection for pregnant women whose lives are at risk.
The Party will consider its response in light of the work of the Oireachtas Committee on Health which will now hear expert opinion.
The Sinn Féin leader also urged the government to ensure that the legislation timetable guarantees that the bill completes all of its stages before the summer recess.
The Sinn Féin leader said:
“Previous governments failed to face up to this issue. The production of this legislation has taken 21 years. I want to commend the government for bringing forward these proposals.
“Sinn Fein will consider the Heads of the Bill very carefully and in light of the obligations on the state and the principles for implementation as set out in the Expert Group Report on the ABC and Ireland case.
“The evidence recently in the inquest into the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar underlined, if any further evidence was needed, the necessity for clarity for medical practitioners and protection for pregnant women who may be at risk.
“Sinn Féin is determined that this legislation must provide that clarity for medical practitioners and the protection for pregnant women whose lives are at risk.
“We will examine carefully the evidence and information arising from the deliberations of the Oireachtas Committee on Health.
“There are strongly and sincerely held views from all sides in the Dáil and across society on this issue.
“Some people may have genuine concerns about this legislation but it is also clear that others have raised exaggerated and alarmist claims that this legislation will open the floodgates or is the thin edge of the wedge on abortion. It is clear that this is not true.
“These arguments are disrespectful to women and impossible in the light of the legislation that is proposed.
“The vast majority of citizens have confirmed in referendums a desire for legislation dealing with the issues raised by the X-Case.
“Sinn Féin urges everyone with an opinion on this to engage over the next three months in the necessary debate in a compassionate, tolerant and reasonable fashion and based on the wording of the Bill as published.
“I welcome the Taoiseach’s commitment in response to my Dáil question this morning that he plans to have the legislation considered, debated and passed by the Dáil before the summer recess.
“There is now an onus on the Dáil and Seanad in the short time ahead to agree a legislative framework and measures that are workable.” ends
Attached: photo of Gerry Adams TD, Mary Lou McDonald TD and Caoimhghín Ó Caolain TDs on the plinth in Leinster House, this morning.

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