Seanad debates

Monday, 10 December 2018

Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018: Committee Stage (Resumed)


2:00 pm

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

To pick this section of the law, which refers to an emergency situation, is particularly offensive. We are talking about a situation where a woman is at risk of dying or of serious harm to her health. Senator Mullen knows very well that doctors work every day to preserve life.We have already discussed the definition of viability in this House and mentioned the fact that all neonatal supports would be available to a baby born through a medical intervention where the life of the mother needs to be saved.

I want to be clear because the Senator keeps on levelling charges at me and I have no intention of levelling them at him. Section 9 of the Bill, which refers to the risk to the life or health of the mother, specifically refers to an abortion only being allowed where the foetus has not reached viability. The only place in the Bill where that is not the case is the emergency provision. The Senator will disagree with me on this but his effort to say "including mental health" as though it is something made up, is setting this country back 50 years. We have had this debate and the amendment has been defeated, so we should really move on with the legislation.


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