We cannot help women facing tragedy unless we vote YES – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald has responded to false assertions from the NO campaign that so-called “hard-cases” can still be dealt with in the event of a NO vote.

The Dublin-Central TD pointed out that many of those making such assertions campaigned against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill which allowed doctors to intervene when a woman’s life is at risk.

Teachta McDonald said:

“The only way we can help women facing crisis is by returning a YES vote and removing the eighth amendment from the constitution.

“I think it is important in this debate that we deal in fact. I have heard assertions from the NO campaign and its spokespeople that the so-called hard cases – pregnancies as a result of rape or fatal foetal abnormality – can be dealt with under the current constitutional framework. This is patently untrue.

“The very same people making these false assertions themselves campaigned against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill in 2013. This Bill, now widely recognised as being wholly inadequate, allowed doctors to intervene when a woman’s life is at risk; i.e. the bare minimum of care.

“They talked of floodgates opening, abortion becoming widely available and were ultimately proved wrong as they will be in this instance.

“The eighth amendment blocks any action to legislate in this or any other instances. We know this because we tried. Two separate Private Members Bills on these issues were rejected on the advice of the Attorney General.

“There is only one way that we can help women in these circumstances and that is by voting YES on Friday and removing the eighth amendment. To suggest otherwise is to be totally disingenuous.

“It is also important to remember that these are not exceptional or ‘hard cases’. They are real women facing devastating circumstances every day in every county. We cannot help them unless we return a YES vote next week.”