Speaking after the Autism Conference in Croke Park this morning, Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath TD, said, “that children with Down Syndrome should not be used in this debate especially not in posters in the same way any children shouldn’t  be in poster for a Referendum campaign”.  He also said that, “Disability as grounds for termination is specifically outlawed in the draft legislation”. He strongly challenged the No campaigners on their misleading information.  

“Downs Syndrome Ireland (D. S. I.) have already asked campaigners not to use children with Downs Syndrome in this debate.  As a former chairperson of D. S. I., and a parent, I support that view”, said Minister McGrath.  “Parents and families are contacting me about these posters, and I would urge some common sense”, said McGrath.

Minister McGrath also raised the issue of disabled women who are often neglected when it comes to contraceptive care and consultation owing to assumptions about their lives. The situation as it stands discriminates against disabled women with mobility issues for whom international travel is more difficult.  

Finally Minister McGrath pointed out that the voices of persons with disabilities has been missing from the public conversation on reproductive rights.  “They have to be heard. That’s real inclusion”, said McGrath.