Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley has called for immediate clarity from his Party Leadership on the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill 2013. Speaking in light of comments reported in recent days that Michael Martin, T.D., Leader of Fianna Fáil, personally supported the legislation; Councillor Feeley stated that such a view did not represent him or the vast majority of Fianna Fáil members.
‘I very much regret that Deputy Martin chose to make his personal views known on this matter given that the Parliamentary Party has not yet finalised the Party position on the proposed Abortion legislation. Given the resounding Pro-Life position taken by the delegates to our recent Party Ard Fheis, I cannot understand why there is such doubt as to our position. Fianna Fáil has always been a clearly Pro-Life Party from our support for the 1983 Amendment to the Constitution to our Ard Fheis votes. There should be no doubt; there should be no need for long-winded discussion. We should be very clearly against legislation which, for the first time provides a legal framework for the direct and intentional destruction of innocent and defenceless human life.’
Noting that other political parties did not have a pro-life position or had, for whatever reason changed their position, Councillor Feeley noted that Fianna Fáil would, if support is given to this proposed legislation have given up on this key policy position.
‘Michael Martin’s personal position certainly does not speak for me and, I believe very substantial numbers of my fellow Party members.’
Confirming that much of the legislation is acceptable in that it re-states the current medical practice of providing the best possible care to both patients and insuring that any mother would receive full and proper treatment, Councillor Feeley made clear that his only concern was that of providing Abortion as a treatment for suicide ideation.
‘This is a very sensitive and difficult matter but it serves no-one if we do not speak openly and honestly about it. Huge numbers of people, me included, are very disappointed that there has been any ambiguity as to the Fianna Fáil position. We are a Pro-Life Party; a key section of the proposed legislation is clearly not. I do not support it and I am at a loss to see how my Party can give this Bill support.’