We have a duty to do right by the women of Ireland - Cullinane
Speaking in the Seanad tonight on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013, Sinn Fein Senator David Cullinane said:
“I welcome this Bill and the fact that the medical profession will finally have legal clarity and guidelines on this issue.
“People and groups who are opposed to this legislation suggest that those of us in favour are not troubled by conscience and morality, but this could not be further from the truth.
“Let me state very clearly that I and my party are pro-life and that this very stance is what informs our support for this piece of legislation.
“Furthermore this is an issue of conscience for us too.
“However as Republicans we have to admit that the Irish state has failed successive generations of women. And that were we not to deal with this issue that we too would be following in a long line of legislators and institutions that were anti women.
“Sinn Fein is not prepared to collude in the dis-empowering of women.
“If we look carefully at the Bill we see in fact that it is extremely limited and specific in what it actually does.
“It does not deal with the issue of foetal abnormalities, or with pregnancies that occur as a result of incest, and rape.
“Such omissions are regretful. As legislators we have a duty to deal with the societal realities, and it is not good enough for us to ignore that for some women these issues are very real and part of their life stories.
“If we are to begin the process of building an Ireland of equals we need to ensure that we are proactive when it comes to protecting their rights under the law.
“We have a duty to do the right thing by the women of Ireland. They are our mothers, our sisters, or wives, our daughters, or aunts and our friends.