Seanad debates

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018: Second Stage


10:30 am

Photo of Lorraine Clifford LeeLorraine Clifford Lee (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

Let us just debate the legislation.

Some of my colleagues feel differently from how I do, but I respect them and I hope they respect me. Let us try to fulfil the wish of the people at this point. There is no need to go over the same divisive arguments which would help nobody. We really need to move on with it. The people have spoken overwhelmingly and the people are sovereign. It is now our duty to fulfil their view that was clearly articulated to us. Let us have the debate on the specific amendments. Let us move on, get our business done and give the women of Ireland what they desperately need.

It is important to point out the severe lack of investment in female healthcare specifically. I want to see increased investment in women's healthcare across the board which has been sorely lacking over a number of years. The women of Ireland are finally finding their voice and it is being heard. The Minister has an audience there and we need him to push for more of the budget to be allocated to specific female health issues, sexual education and issues on other aspects of reproductive health. We need more lactation consultants, more community midwives and many more supports for women. We need more supports for women who have suffered loss in pregnancy and postpartum depression. We cannot just focus on one aspect of female healthcare and think we have that box ticked. I want this to be the start of a conversation and an evolution to respecting women far more.

I look forward to a respectful debate in the coming days.


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