Abortion bill isn't supported because of Anti-Austerity Alliance sponsorship - Fine Gael TD

Deputy Kate O'Connell made her comments in the Dáil

Abortion bill isn't supported because of Anti-Austerity Alliance sponsorship - Fine Gael TD

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A Fine Gael TD has said she knows of TDs who will not support the abortion bill because it was sponsored by the Anti-Austerity Alliance.

Kate O'Connell's comments were met with anger from opposition benches last night as the government debated a referendum bill.

Deputy O'Connell has previously voiced her support for repealing the 8th amendment, and questioned the political motives of other members of the Dáil.

"These people do not feel aligned with those who supported the false imprisonment of a former Tánaiste, or who think that the Irish economy would benefit from socialist transformation," she said.

Among other independent ministers, Katherine Zappone has come under fire for her U-turn regarding the abortion bill, having given her full support prior to winning her seat.

“This is a sell-out and betrayal by the Independent Ministers like Katherine Zappone, John Halligan and Shane Ross,” Anti Austerity Alliance TD Ruth Coppinger said on the Dáil plinth on Tuesday evening.

Earlier in the evening, People Before Profit deputy Bríd Smith challenged the government to prosecute her for possessing tablets that could be used to cause an abortion.

"You could arrest me for having it, and give me 14 years, but you ain't going to do it, because ... you know if you dared to implement it, you'd bring down hellfire and brimstone down on this House," she said.

Cabinet members earlier reached a deal on abortion legislation being put forward by the opposition.

Fine Gael and the Independent Alliance agreed to back a counter-motion, which will be tabled during the debate this evening.

The bill from the AAA-PBP, which seeks a referendum to repeal the eighth amendment, will not be opposed by government, but will not be permitted to proceed either.