In an article in today's Irish Examiner, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says that legislation to allow abortion along the lines of the X case would effectively lead to abortion on demand.
His comments come after 15 Fine Gael TDs told Health Minister Dr. James Reilly that they opposed any moves to legalise abortion.
In a statement this afternoon, the Pro Life Campaign's spokeperson, Dr. Ruth Cullen, said that Martin's comments were "timely and welcome" and "acknowledged the reality of what an Irish abortion regime would look like after legislation".
|Fianna Fáil party leader Micheál Martin|
Dr Cullen said: "The past week has been heartening for those who still believe that when political parties make promises, they should stick by them."
"Last week we saw a significant number of Fine Gael TDs and Senators remind their party leadership of their election pledge to stand up for unborn human life. Today we saw Micheál Martin reaffirm his party's commitment to the same principle: that human life must be protected at all stages. Both developments were timely and welcome."
"At a time when Labour politicians are trying to bully the Government into believing the myth that the European court judgement in the A,B and C v Ireland case obliges Ireland to legalise abortion, we welcome the clarity which both Mr Martin's comments, and the stance taken by backbench Fine Gael TDs, have brought to the debate."
"Mr Martin's statement, that legislation to provide for abortion along the lines of the X case would create "an open-door situation" which would be "very difficult to hold back" acknowledged the reality of what an Irish abortion regime would look like after legislation."
Dr Cullen also welcomed Mr Martin's acknowledgement that current Irish medical practice was about protecting both mother and child.
Mr. Martin said "I think we should do everything we possibly can to preserve the life of the unborn and preserve the life of the mother. And I think we do that in Ireland, actually. "
Dr. Cullen welcomed this, saying "pro-abortion advocates and politicians have repeatedly attempted to obscure the fact that Ireland boasts world class medical care for pregnant women. In this context, Mr Martin's recognition that Irish doctors do everything they can "to preserve the life of the unborn and preserve the life of the mother" is very welcome."
"Ireland has consistently shown itself to be the safest place in the world to give birth in, and international statistics confirm this."