Offaly TD claims she was subject to abuse in the Dáil during abortion debate

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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Offaly TD claims she was subject to abuse in the Dáil during abortion debate

Offaly TD claims she was subject to abuse in the Dáil during abortion debate

Offaly TD Carol Nolan has claimed that several TDs rounded on her in the Dáil last night during the abortion debate.

She says the alleged abuse occurred during a discussion on an amendment proposed by Deputy Nolan seeking to ensure that taxpayers' money is not used for abortions.

"While some TDs stuck to discussing the content of the proposal, others engaged in personalised attacks," according to Deputy Nolan. 

She claims colleagues accused her of “shock tactics” for her description of an abortion and suggesting she had a “visceral hatred” towards women and a “sinister motive."

In response, Carol Nolan said, “I think it’s regrettable the way some TDs have spent the last fortnight second-guessing and attacking the motivations of pro-life Oireachtas members who submitted amendments to the abortion bill."

"Unfortunately, many Pro-Life have been bullied into silence, but I won’t allow my views on the issue to be silenced, it appears that democracy in Dáil Éireann only exists if you hold a liberal and pro-choice view - so much for equality and respect. My sole motivation at all times has been a concern for the welfare of women and their unborn babies," she added.

“I am not accustomed to describing the abortion procedure in detail but when colleagues in the Dáil won’t even support an amendment to provide pain relief for an unborn baby during a late-term abortion then I think it is reasonable to challenge them on what they are doing," she added.

"I will always be respectful but I won’t be censored from telling the truth. Some people want a debate where only one side is heard and they are quick to demonise their opponents the second they point out the reality of what’s been voted through. I don’t need lectures from colleagues on how to behave in this debate. I am perfectly aware of the sensitivities involved."

"I have met many women who regret their abortions and would have dearly loved if before it happened someone had pointed out to them the reality of abortion and the possible consequences of the decision for them and I've been approached by people who were adopted and say it is likely that they would have been aborted if abortion had been legal in Ireland. I'm entitled to speak up for people like this. Sometimes the hard, sad reality of what an abortion involves has to be pointed out," the Offaly TD continued.

"It does a disservice to everyone and is a betrayal of women and their unborn babies to sanitise the debate to such an extent that the truth of what actually happens is never mentioned.”

The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which protected the right to life of the unborn, was repealed by referendum earlier this year. The vote gave the Dáil the power to legislate for abortion in Ireland. The Dáil continues to debate the matter.