At the weekend two motions on abortion were before the 2017 Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis. One, from the London Cumann, asked the party to support A “woman’s right to choose” and repeal of the pro-life 8th amendment. The other, from the Kildare North Cumann, proposed that “the Ard Fheis requests that Fianna Fáíl opposes any attempt to diminish the constitutional rights of the unborn”. The debate on both motions took place in a packed room. The first motion was overwhelmingly rejected by a majority of “5 or 6 to 1” according to Gavan Reilly of TV3 whose twitter posts on the debate are worth reading. The rejection of the pro-abortion motion was met with loud applause. The pro-life motion was overwhelmingly carried, again by a majority of 5 or 6 to 1 according to Gavan Reilly. He also noted that:
- One speaker said the Oireachtas Abortion Committee was intolerant to loud applause, and said the media was aggressive to pro-life people
- That former TD Máire Hoctor says she is disappointed with silent FF voices not speaking loud in enough in favour of unborn at the Abortion Committee
- That the loudest applause of the day – and a standing ovation – went to Mary Butler TD who said she “might be FF spokesperson on older people, but she was also a spokesperson on the unborn” and that during her three pregnancies she never said she was having a foetus, she said she was having a baby.
- Margaret Murphy O’Mahony, FF spokeswoman on disability said “I am absolutely disgusted of any notion that a child with a disability should be aborted”
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