Deputy Carol Nolan.

Nolan wants referendum on abortion funding

An Offaly TD wants a referendum on whether or not taxpayers' money should be used to fund abortions.

Deputy Carol Nolan, who left Sinn Fein earlier this year in protest at the party's pro-choice policy, says that during the abortion referendum campaign it wasn't made clear that taxpayers' money would be used to fund terminations for medical card holders.

Twelve million euro has been allocated for state funded abortions next year. Deputy Nolan says that she has been contacted by constituents who don't want their taxes used for this purpose.

“I've got a lot of complaints from taxpayers, yes and no voters actually, who are shocked at this prospect given that our health service is creaking, given that we had 8,000 people on trolleys last month alone, given that we have children waiting for scoliosis surgery up to 18 months and given also that we have our elderly people, many of who have paid taxes for 40 years plus, now expected to fund abortion services to the tune of €12m a year.

“People are rightly outraged at this prospect. It certainly doesn't make any sense, our health service is in chaos. Our doctors and nurses are doing their utmost in a system that's not fit for purpose.”

Over 720,000 people voted against the introduction of abortion services in the referendum. Deputy Nolan says that these people should not be expected to fund terminations.

“Our health service is creaking and I think it is wrong that our Minister for Health is proposing such a measure. I think it is an insult to hard working people and is a step too far.

“This €12m is taken from some other area of health that could do with it. Abortion services are dressed up as health care, which many would disagree with, including myself. I think that it is a great injustice," she said.