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Ronán Mullen says people have right to offer information to 'conflicted women' outside hospitals and clinics

Independent Senator Ronán Mullen says he will oppose any legislation to introduce exclusion zones outside hospitals offering abortion services.

The Health Minister is looking at proposals to stop protesters gathering outside the clinics, to avoid women considering a termination from being harassed.

The pro-life Senator claims Ireland has a healthcare establishment that 'almost seems to want to hustle' women towards abortion.

Senator Mullen - along with TD's Mattie McGrath and Carol Nolan - is opposing the potential introduction of exclusion zones outside hospitals and clinics.

The trio welcomed the UK-based 'Be Here for Me' group who are opposed to similar measures which are in place in Ealing in London.

Senator Mullen believes any such legislation would be a violation of human rights

He said: "Perhaps the minister has been maybe making rhetorical use out of this promise or threat to make buffer zones.

"I think he'll find it is more difficult in practice.

"I think what he will also find that people who genuinely want to engage respectfully will oppose an unjust law."

He added people have the right to offer information to what he describes as 'conflicted women'.

He said: "If you have a healthcare establishment that is not interested really in offering positive alternatives to abortion, it might be that a woman who feels conflicted...the first bit of genuine love and support she might be offered might be from the person who wants to offer something better than abortion.

"Provided it is done respectfully, this could be an important moment."