Senator Paul Bradford says the words should not be used, as no such circumstances exist
A Renua Ireland senator has argued that there are no such things as babies with fatal foetal abnormalities.
Paul Bradford says instead, those situations should be thought of as babies having "life-limiting conditions".
Senators were responding to yesterday's High Court ruling in Belfast, which said Northern Ireland was in breach of human rights law by not allowing abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.
Senator Bradford said the use of language was important.
“Language is not just powerful, it is a very strong weapon,” he said.
“And when we speak this easy phrase – 'fatal foetal abnormalities' - we are talking about babies who have a very life-limiting or a very life-threatening condition, they are still human beings.
“There are no such babies as babies with fatal foetal abnormalities,” he said.
“There are babies with very serious, very profound life-threatening and life-limiting conditions, but they are still human beings,” he added.
Northern Ireland's Catholic bishops have expressed shock at yesterday's Belfast High Court ruling.
A judge ruled that the right to an abortion should be extended if a woman is sexually assaulted or if the foetus has a fatal illness.
Judge Mr Justice Mark Horner said yesterday that denying an abortion to a mother in cases of fatal foetal abnormality was a "gross interference with her personal autonomy".
The Catholic Bishops have expressed their shock at the ruling.
"By any human and moral standard these children are persons and our duty to respect and protect their right to life does not change because of any Court judgement", they say in a statement.