[Sinn Fein]

7th March 2002

``More must be done for women with crisis pregnancies'' - Ó Caoláin

Commenting on the result of the referendum Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

``The result vindicates the argument that the Constitution is not the place to deal with the complexities of abortion. Several issues were in question in the proposed amendment, issues which could not be addressed with a single Yes or No answer.

``During the campaign little attention was paid to the need for measures to reduce the number of crisis pregnancies and to assist women who have crisis pregnancies. People on all sides of the referendum argument expressed agreement that this needs to be done. We should all now build on this common ground and implement measures to assist women who face very difficult situations, often alone. One of the key objectives must be to significantly reduce the tragic exodus of Irish women seeking abortions in Britain.

``The electorate has placed the responsibility upon their Oireachtas representatives to deal with the abortion issue by means of legislation. This should be done in a very carefully considered manner and with maximum cross-party consensus.''

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