Thomas Pringle - wants maternity scheme extended
Donegal TD Thomas Pringle has called for a mechanism to ensure women who take time off work to have an abortion get some form of sick pay.
The Independent TD said an existing maternity and infant scheme, that enables pregnant women to free visits with their GP and obstetrician, could be extended to grant leave to women planning a termination as some employers don’t pay sick leave.
The Killybegs-based TD said the ideal solution would be a sick-pay scheme for all workers. He said something needed to be done to ensure women seeking terminations get some form of sick pay.
“The way it should be accommodated is that every worker should be entitled to take a certain amount of sick leave without it impacting on pay and if that was the case women would be covered that way.
“We have to keep an eye on it to see if a lack of sick pay is having an impact on women’s decisions to go ahead with a termination. Abortion is only legal here since January so it is going to take time to see if it is having an impact or not.”
But Michael O’Dowd, the Renua European candidate for the Midlands North East constituency, criticised the proposals by the Donegal TD as “daft and unworkable”.
“To suggest an equivalence between those mothers who bring a new life into this world and those who terminate a pregnancy is clearly wrong at so many levels. There is no societal gain in terminating a pregnancy yet Deputy Pringle wants to reward such behaviour at the taxpayers expense,” he said.
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