Cabinet Must Abandon Undemocratic and Unworkable 'Exclusion Zone' - O'Reilly
Aontú Councillor Sarah O'Reilly has called on the government to abandon their plans for 'exclusion zones' outside facilities which carry out abortions.
Speaking today, Cllr O'Reilly said:
"The proposals before cabinet for exclusion zones are totally undemocratic. Everyone should be permitted to peacefully protest and demonstrate against practices or human rights abuses which they disagree with. Abortion ends the life of defenceless human beings - it is only natural for people to wish to protest against such a thing"
Cllr O'Reilly continued: "I thought we had come a long way in terms of welcoming dissenting voices, debate and democracy in this country. It is hard to believe that the government are seeking to shut down debate and advocate for the "exclusion" of some voices from debate and the democratic process".
"As well as being a total infringement on our right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, these proposals, as reported in the media, are unworkable. In practice exclusion zones, by extending for 100 metres outside hospital and GP clinics, would prohibit protests and demonstrations in Merrion Square outside the Dáil in Dublin, which is one of the most popular protest venues for a range of groups across the country - and the location of an annual pro-life human rights rally - I am concerned that if these proposals go ahead the annual rally, which often attracts tens of thousands of people, will not be able to go ahead. Aontú are calling on the government to abandon their undemocratic plans and consider the ramifications their current proposals, and the dangerous precedent which will be set as a result", concluded Cllr O'Reilly.