Attempts to radicalise abortion law underway even before the ink dry on repeal – Senator Mullen

“Chilling disregard for unborn child’s welfare was in evidence among committee members and medical representative bodies.”

The first hearing of the Oireachtas Health Committee into clinical guidelines on abortion showed a chilling disregard for the welfare of unborn children, Senator Rónán Mullen said today. He said it was also remarkable that before the ink was dry on repeal of the 8th Amendment abortion proponents were already working to radicalise the abortion legislation and diminish even further any possible protection for unborn children.

Senator Mullen was speaking today after questioning representatives of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Irish College of General Practitioners and the Medical Council at the Oireachtas Health Committee.

“A vicious agenda is now underway,” Senator Mullen said. “Hardly was the ink dry on the President’s signature, signalling the end of the 8th Amendment and its beneficial influence on Irish law, before Oireachtas colleagues and leading members of the medical profession were saying the three-day ‘cooling off’ period, the only token restriction included in the Government’s abortion proposals, should be abandoned altogether.”

“They did so without producing any evidence of what harm this restriction would cause and they refused to acknowledge the possibility that a short delay might have a beneficial effect by saving the lives of some unborn children,” Senator Mullen said.

“There was a chilling disregard for unborn children’s welfare in much of the contributions from Oireachtas colleagues and medical representative bodies. The child in the womb got no mention at all. He or she is now a non-person in their eyes.”

“But while the unborn child no longer enjoys constitutional rights, the Oireachtas has been given full freedom to try to prevent abortions and to insert safeguards in an effort to discourage recourse to abortion. You’d never think this to judge from the uniform attitudes on display at today’s meeting. It is clear that many of those politicians and medics who campaigned for the referendum view even the slightest restriction on abortion as something to be resisted.”

“There was also unanimous agreement among representatives of the Irish College of General Practitioners and the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists that the Irish hospital system and GP network is totally unprepared to handle the estimated 12,000 abortions per year which will be performed under the new legislation. They gave little indication that the necessary funding, equipment and personnel could be in place for the introduction of abortion services next January.”

“The Government needs to address this and explain why the introduction of abortion services is being rushed without the proper infrastructure being in place,” Senator Mullen added.

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For more information contact Rónán Mullen on 087 2446911.