Bannon keeps counsel as abortion vote looms

Deputy James Bannon
James Bannon is hoping a series of last minute guarantees will be given to the Government’s contentious abortion legislation ahead of a crucial vote this evening (Wednesday).

James Bannon is hoping a series of last minute guarantees will be given to the Government’s contentious abortion legislation ahead of a crucial vote this evening (Wednesday).

TDs have until today to make up their minds on the much talked about Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill before it is passed into law.

Mr Bannon, in the past, has made no secret about his own anxieties in legislating for abortion. One of his key concerns has been on ensuring any changes don’t lead to a liberalisation of present-day laws.

Other safeguards Deputy Bannon is looking for centres on eliminating the threat of suicide as a grounds for abortion and ensuring an equal right to life of both the mother and unborn.

A further alteration surrounds the need to provide medical care to suicidal women when seeking an abortion.

Should those, together with a number of other assurances, be met the Legan TD is expected to vote with the Coalition later this evening.

“You will not get an answer out of me,” was his short and direct reply when asked by the Leader which way he intended voting.

“I am still putting maximum pressure on the Department of Health for assurances.

“When you are in a negotiating position like I am and when you might possibly get extra safeguards, you don’t want to show your hand too early.”