Dear Noel Ahern,
In your speech to the Dáil on October 25th, you said "I cannot be sure I would not be on the plane to the UK with my daughter, nor could any other person". You were referring to young women with crisis pregnancies - possibly due to rape - who are desperate to the point of being suicidal because they are pregnant, being brought to Britain for abortions.
We welcome your recognition that getting an abortion is reasonable and appropriate in such circumstances. It is probably what most of your colleagues in the Dáil and what any reasonable parent would do.
Why then, are you supporting proposals that would prevent a pregnant rape victim - so desperate that suicide appears to her the only way out of an unwanted pregnancy - from getting an abortion in Ireland?
You indicate that you would go with your daughter to Britain for an abortion rather than risk her life due to suicide. If you would not put your own daughter's life at such risk, why are you willing to put at risk the life of another person's daughter - simply because they can't afford the costs or are unable to travel? Do you think that other women's lives are of less worth than your daughter's life?
We call on you and your colleagues to withdraw support for this unreasonable Bill, and to begin discussion on the way to provide here for other Irish women the choice that you would provide for your own daughter.
Cathleen O'Neill, Catherine Naji, Sinead Ni Chulachain
Alliance for a NO Vote, PO Box 8306, Dublin 1.
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This edition is No68 published in Jan 2002