"Appalled to see," he tweeted in response to Higgins' video of the vigil. "I don't wonder why we need it at all. Have been engaging with Attorney General, Gardai & service providers about how best to bring it in in a manner that is constitutional etc. Can assure you I am committed to it and will be meeting cross party on it this month".
Senator Catherine Noone of the Fine Gael party also tweeted that "exclusion zone legislation" to establish a boundary outside abortion clinics and GP practices for protesters "needs to be a major priority for the start of the new term."
"The danger is that it might never happen if there's a change of Government," she said.
Luke Silke, a spokesperson for Students for Life Ireland, opposed the imposition of exclusion zones while appearing on RTÉ Radio 1 with Higgins on Thursday.
He said that "introducing exclusion zones in Ireland, I feel, would create a very dangerous precedent for denying freedom of speech and the right to peaceful assembly, or protest, in public areas."
Silke noted that he did not care for some of the "tactics" used by the pro-life protesters in Dublin. On Twitter, he specifically mentioned the use of small coffins right outside a maternity ward as problematic.
"Our goal would be to save lives and empower women," he said.
Higgins, appearing simultaneously on the radio show with Silke, said the protests and the images used by them unnerved children and women and argued in favor of exclusion zones. The use of small coffins was "triggering" for women who have had miscarriages or babies stillborn, she said.
"I have no issue with peaceful protests. I do have an issue with where they are and how they're directly underneath our post-natal ward with newborn babies," she said.
Matt Hadro was the political editor at Catholic News Agency through October 2021. He previously worked as CNA senior D.C. correspondent and as a press secretary for U.S. Congressman Chris Smith.