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Vote to protect life in Carlow-Kilkenny urges PLC

By Susan Gately - 22 May, 2015

"Many issues are troubling voters, but no issue is more important than protecting life. How we treat the vulnerable measures how civilised we are as a society."

I vote pro lifeIn addition to today’s vote in the Referendum polls on marriage and the age of the president, the people of Carlow and Kilkenny are voting for a new Dáil deputy.

The Pro Life Campaign (PLC) has appealed to voters in the by-election to vote for candidates and parties who “publicly oppose the Government’s abortion legislation and support the protection of human life from its fragile beginnings”.

In advance of the poll the PLC surveyed all the candidates asking the following questions:
As a Member of Dáil Éireann and notwithstanding the position of your political party (if applicable) will you:
(i) Vote against abortion at every opportunity.
(ii) Vote against destructive embryonic stem cell research at every opportunity.
(iii) Work with like-minded TDs and Senators to advance the protection of life at all stages.
(iv) Work towards the repeal of the abortion legislation introduced in Ireland in 2013.

Some replied while others made their views known elsewhere throughout the campaign, for example to the media.

According to PLC, the following is a summary of where each candidate stands on the issue of abortion.

  • Bobby Aylward – Fianna Fail – Answered YES to questions (i), (ii) and (iii) from Pro Life Campaign
  • Daithí ÓhUallacháin – Independent – Did not answer PLC survey but told Irish Times that he opposes attempts to allow abortion when the baby has a terminal illness and opposes abortion on demand.
  • David Fitzgerald – Fine Gael – Did not respond to PLC survey but told the Irish Times he opposes abortion on demand.
  • Malcolm Noonan – Green Party, William Quinn – Labour Party, Kathleen Funchion – Sinn Fein and Patrick McKee – Renua Ireland told The Irish Times that they opposed abortion on demand but supported it where the baby had a terminal illness.
  • Breda Gardner – Independent – says she supports abortion when the unborn baby has a terminal illness but opposes abortion on demand and
  • Elizabeth Hourihane – Independent – told The Irish Times that she opposes abortion on demand.
  • Conor MacLiam – Anti Austerity Alliance, Noel G. Walsh – Independent, Adrienne Wallace – People Before Profit and Peter O’Loughlin – Independent did not respond to the survey.

Pointing out that the Government legislated for abortion in 2013 when the medical evidence showed that abortion, “far from helping women in pregnancy, may actually expose them to greater risk,” the PLC appealed to voters in Carlow / Kilkenny to show that abortion is a key election question.

“It is important that politicians know that pro-life supporters are not happy about the current situation, which places women and their babies at severe risk of harm or loss of life.”

“It is also important that we ensure that the politicians elected in the future are those who will work in Dáil Éireann to protect and defend the right to life of both,” said a PLC spokesperson.

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