‘The unborn child deserves protection in law’

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Michael Creed has stated his support for the Government’s decision to proceed with a referendum on Repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

However, he is opposed to the Government’s proposal to legislate for unrestricted abortions up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

The minister said he “fully endorses and supports” the insertion of a clause that makes it clear that the Oireachtas may legislate to regulate the treatment of women during pregnancy – including the termination of pregnancy, where necessary.

In a statement to AgriLand, Minister Creed said: “The primacy, rigidity and potential for unintended consequences based on judicial interpretation of the constitution makes the Bunreacht an unsuitable place for matters of health care during pregnancy to be legally prescribed.

He noted that his position on how he shall vote on any future legislation will be dependent on the content of any bill that comes before the Dail.

I do not however support the recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment specifically in relation to the unrestricted availability of abortion up to 12 weeks of gestation.

“While the Article 40.3.3 requirement to hold the right of the mother and the unborn in parity is clinically not possible, I do nonetheless believe the unborn child deserves protection in law in circumstances where the health of the mother is not at risk.

I hope that the debate on this important and difficult issue can take account of the critical fact that there are no right or wrong answers to this question, rather differing opinions, views and beliefs.

The Tanaiste and former minister for agriculture, Simon Coveney, is also amongst a number of cabinet ministers that have voiced reservations to the proposed unrestricted access to abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.