False assertions from No campaign designed to whip up fear – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has said “false assertions from the No campaign are designed to whip up fear and distract from the facts relating to the Eighth Amendment.”

Speaking after raising the issue with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Leaders Questions today, Deputy McDonald said;

“I have heard assertions from the NO campaign and its spokespeople that what they call “hard cases” – pregnancies as a result of rape or a diagnosis of fatal foetal anomaly – can be dealt with under the current constitutional framework.  This is patently untrue.

“Now there are claims being made that there will be access to abortion without reason and even access to abortion up to birth. We have also heard people discredit and dismiss mental health concerns for women in crisis.

“These false assertions are very callous in that they are being used to distract from the reality of the impact of the Eighth Amendment of the lives and health of Irish women. They are being used to confuse the debate.

“I was happy for the Taoiseach to set the record straight and assure people that these claims are wholly disingenuous.

“On Friday, we have a once in a generation opportunity to right a historic wrong.

“This is a chance to show that we have learned the lessons taught to us by the awful treatment of Savita Halappanavar, the X Case, Miss P and the whole litany of tragedy visited on Irish women.

“A chance to say that we, as a society, will no longer tolerate a provision that make exiles of women and girls in crisis.

“It is a chance for us to show compassion. Trust and respect for women must now prevail.”