Friday, June 14, 2013

Sinn Féin TD faces party discipline if he votes against abortion Bill


Tóibín accepts he may lose party whip but says he cannot support legislation that permits abortion

Irish Times - 14 June 2013
Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín last night said he will vote against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill when it comes before the Dáil.
Mr Tóibín, a TD for Meath West, told The Irish Times he is prepared to defy his party whip because of his deeply held views against abortion.
If he votes against the Bill which will come before the Dáil on Thursday, he will certainly be expelled from the Sinn Féin parliamentary party.
Serious breach’A party spokesman confirmed last night that if Mr Tóibín voted against the party, it would be “a serious breach of party rules” and he would be “be subject to party discipline”.
In a statement issued to this newspaper, Mr Tóibín said it gave him immense difficulty to part from the party on the issue and reiterated his loyalty to Sinn Féin in all other respects.
He continued by saying he would vote against the Bill, because it would introduce for the first time in law a therapy for suicidal ideation that included the ending of another human life.
“It would also mean for the first time that a therapy for suicidal ideation in Ireland would have no basis in science.
“On the contrary the evidence states that abortion often does damage the health of the mother, can lead to suicide and of course is completely destructive of the life of the child.”

‘Cusp of viability’
“I am also seriously concerned that this legislation allows for abortion up until birth and that this legislation allows for a healthy unborn child on the cusp of viability to be brought to term with the likely probability that the child would be disabled by the State and possibly be institutionalised for life.
“It is an impossible ask for me to vote for legislation that will lead to another person’s death. TDs are responsible for their actions . . . I believe that if a TD votes for abortion that TD is in part responsible for abortions that happen under that legislation. I do not believe that it is possible to claim to be pro life and legislate for abortion,” he said.
This is the first time in recent times Sinn Féin has had to deal with a party member defying its official stance.
Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toibin is to be commended for following the dictates of his conscience rather than the misguided position taken by his political party. It is an extremely unusual occasion, indeed, when an elected official would risk facing severe disciplinary action from his colleagues and jeopardize his political future in order to defend his strongly held moral beliefs. This case also proves beyond any reasonable doubt that regardless of what they may say when questioned on the issue, Sinn Fein is a political party that supports abortion. TD Peadar Toibin has the courage to stand by his beliefs and he certainly deserves the respect and admiration of the Catholic Church in Ireland and all who believe, as he does, in the sanctity of life.
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America
Knights of Columbus – 4th Degree

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