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Compassion and trust in women must prevail – Mary Lou McDonald TD

30 January, 2018 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin President Elect Mary Lou McDonald has this evening congratulated Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for his commitment to hold a referendum on the eighth amendment.

On the question of legislation to allow for abortion up to 12 weeks Teachta McDonald said ultimately the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis will decide the party’s position. She said compassion and trust in women must prevail and Sinn Féin will not be found wanting in that regard.

Teachta McDonald said:

“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has rightly been commended for his commitment to hold a referendum to repeal the eighth amendment to the constitution and for the calm, measured and strong speech he made last night in setting out the reasons for having this referendum.

“I want to add my voice to those already congratulating him for this move.

“It is not often you will hear me congratulate or commend the leader of Fine Gael but in this instance he has done the right thing in no doubt difficult circumstances, and it is important now that those of us who want to see the eighth amendment repealed to join together to mount a strong campaign for repeal.

“We, like the Oireachtas Committee, saw a lot of merit in repeal simpliciter but we are equally of the view that the enabling provision or clause will provide a degree of certainty which is much needed and we understand has been proposed by the Attorney General.  

"We still believe that the advice of the Attorney General can and should be published in full but we are happy that the information note has been published.

“Last night’s announcement is progress in the long road to repealing the eighth. We’ll do everything in our power to make that happen.

“Sinn Féin’s supports the availability of abortion in cases of rape, incest, fatal foetal abnormality, health, mental and physical, and risk to the life of the woman. 

"The party is also working on a comprehensive policy document on women’s health which is to consider the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly and the subsequent work of the Committee. The Ard Fheis will ultimately decide the party’s position in relation to the 12 week proposal.

“But let me say this; For too long the women of Ireland have been let down by this state.  This cannot continue.  

"Compassion and trust in women must prevail and Sinn Féin will not be found wanting in that regard.”

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