Labour TD Anne Ferris loses parliamentary party membership over abortion vote

Labour TD Anne Ferris loses parliamentary party membership over abortion vote

LABOUR TD Anne Ferris is set to lose her parliamentary party membership over her stance on Ireland's on-going abortion issue.

Ms Ferris was the only party TD to vote in favour of the fatal foetal abnormality bill, meaning she will lose the party whip.

In the wake of the news, she told reporters she hopes to re-join the ranks of the Labour party before the general election in 2016.

Despite rumours that several Labour TDs would vote against the foetal abnormalities bill last night, Ms Ferris became the only one to do so.

"We are forcing them [pregnant women with conditions such as fatal foetal abnormalities] to go to England to have terminations of a much wanted and much loved baby and I think that's wrong," the Wicklow TD said in an interview with Newstalk.

The bill was proposed by Socialist Party TD Clare Daly but ot was defeated by 104 votes to 20 yesterday.

Speaking of the bill, Ms Daly described the current situation - where women have to travel from Ireland to Britain for an abortion - as “cruel”.

The Fatal Foetal Abnormality Private Members’ Bill would have allowed a termination in Ireland if the foetus had no chance of survival outside of the womb.

The law in Ireland, as it stands, gives equal weight to the life of the foetus and the life of the mother.

Speaking of her decision to vote in favour of the bill, Ms Ferris said she felt she had to stick to her guns.

The bill had been called "unconstitutional" but Ms Ferris stated that she wanted to get it to the next stage of the legislation process so that medical and legal experts could examine it further.

"I wanted to vote for the bill to go to the next stage, which is only committee stage so that the medical experts, the legal experts can come in and have a look at it and go through it line by line," she said.

"I think there is a doubt there and as long as there is a doubt I will continue to fight because every single day women are being diagnosed with fatal foetal abnormalities and being forced to go to England," she added.