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Ireland: Pro-life politician suspended from party for voting against abortion bill

2 November 2018

Mr Tóibín previously said that the issue of abortion was "far more important than my job or any job in Leinster house".

While other pro-life TDs try to amend the legislation.

Irish politician Peadar Tóibín has been suspended from Sinn Féin for six months for voting against abortion legislation.

Mr Tóibín, the TD (member of the Dáil, the Irish parliament)  for Meath, was one of only 12 TDs to vote against the second stage of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018. 

102 TDs voted in favour, with seven abstentions. 

"Serious breach of the party's rules"

Sinn Féin party leader Mary Lou McDonald followed through on earlier threats to suspend Mr Tóibín, who was a prominent campaigner against the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, should he vote against the bill. A spokesman said that the "party’s position on this legislation is to support it. The whip was in place and all TDs were instructed to be present and to vote for the legislation. Peadar Tóibín’s decision to vote against the legislation is a serious breach of the party’s rules and he has now been suspended for a period of six months."

Life more important than any job

Mr Tóibín previously said that the issue of abortion was "far more important than my job or any job in Leinster house".

He also said that the 34% of the population who voted against repealing the Eighth Amendment should have a voice, and criticised Sinn Féin's authoritarian stance on abortion.

"Obviously the party voted to have a whip on this particular issue," he said. "It is a democratic norm internationally that this isn't a whipped issue. Indeed, East Germany in its whole existence only had one vote where there wasn't a whip on an issue, and it was on the issue of abortion." In the UK, abortion is always treated as a conscience issue and isn't subject to party whipping. 

Lone voices

Other TDs to vote against the bill included Carol Nolan, who recently quit Sinn Féin after being suspended for voting against party policy on abortion, and Peter Fitzpatrick, who resigned from Fine Gael in part because of the governing party's promotion of abortion. 

Ms Nolan, who now serves as an Independent, is one of a number of pro-life TDs tabling amendments to the abortion legislation. They suggest that women seeking an abortion should be given a chance to see the ultrasound and listen to their baby's heartbeat. Other amendments include doctors taking all "appropriate and practicable" steps to avoid causing pain to the baby, and providing for the "dignified disposal" of remains either by burial or cremation. 

Meanwhile, the row around conscientious objection for GPs continues. Hundreds of doctors have signed a petition to Irish College of General Practitioners calling for an Emergency General Meeting to discuss motions such as the right to conscientiously object from providing abortion services, without obligation to refer. 

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Comments (1)

  • caroline

    5 November 2018, 9:38pm

    It appears that his party had an agenda which they were determined to see come to fruition. Appalling! To prohibit anyone from having a contrary opinion reeks of Nazism.

    I suggest Ireland repents of it's Lawlessness - what was once a God-fearing, God seeking Country is descending into the abyss of self-gratification and total selfishness.

    wake up people - blinded as you are, it's never too late to repent.

    Read these...

    Take time to see these....

    Dr Castanon PHD-Faith&Science

    Science proves GOD!

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