Thursday, 29 November 2018
Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018: Report Stage (Resumed)
In my family circle I know two young people with disabilities who are very close to me. I ask everybody in this House and outside it to please understand the views of those of us who have some reservations in this regard. Let me make it clear that I fully accept the result of the referendum. I would never stand for damaging any woman's health in regard to this issue. However, the facts are that there has been an issue with this in England, particularly in regard to Down's syndrome, and we do not want that to happen here.
I believe the Minister was sincere when he gave those commitments prior to the referendum. Like many of my colleagues, all I am looking for is assurances. I do not want to go down this road. We cannot, on the one hand, rush out to the gates of Leinster House every time the disabled are out there, and have our photograph taken with them, and then, on the other, not support the parents, brothers, sisters and many others who have come to people like me seeking that we would stand up here and make this case for them.
That is my contribution. I appeal to everybody in the House to think of the families who have people, particularly young people, with disabilities. They bring such joy into homes. They may on many occasions have very short lives but they bring a lot of joy into people's lives.