Health Minister ‘should focus on health crisis, not exclusion zones’

Students For Life Ireland, a pro-life student group, have hit out at the Health Minister, Simon Harris, over what they’ve labelled his “obsession” with the abortion issue to the detriment of other health concerns like the trolley crisis. Speaking in response the Health Minister’s recent remarks on exclusion zones, spokesperson for the group, Luke Silke also criticised the Minister’s use of the term ‘safe access zones’, describing it as “deliberately inflammatory”.

“It implies that pro-life people are a dangerous threat, which is an incredibly unfair way to depict a sizeable chunk of the voting public. There is nothing ‘safe’ about abortion, it is the only procedure performed by a doctor which is deemed a failure if the baby survives, and a success if the baby’s life is ended”.

He added: “Students For Life Ireland have always been of the view that sensitivity is warranted during vigils outside abortion-providing clinics or hospitals, and that no woman should ever face harassment. We share the Garda Commissioner’s view, however, that the existing legislation around harassment is sufficient and we believe that an introduction of ‘exclusion zones’ would be unconstitutional and undemocratic. Last year the government voted against some very humane amendments to the abortion bill, which were tabled by pro-life politicians. An amendment seeking to ensure that the unborn be granted pain relief prior to late term abortion was defeated. These zones are not ‘safe zones’ for the human beings, no different to us but in size, whose lives are being ended within the zones”, concluded Mr Silke.