This state can be a cold, unsupportive place for women: Stanley
Speaking in the Dáil this evening, Brian Stanley TD, Sinn Féin’s environment and local government spokesperson commended the Taoiseach and Tánaiste for having the courage to introduce the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
Deputy Stanley said: “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.”
He went on to say that the bill failed 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.
We must give this careful and compassionate consideration. 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, while at home, those in the corridors of powers choose at best to ignore them and at worst criminalise them.
“This state can be a cold, unsupportive place for the women of Ireland.
If we aspire to build a republic on this island, as I do, then we must deal with these matters here and not export them as some sort of problem to be dealt with elsewhere. We must cut out the hypocrisy.”