Anti-choice voices on Oireachtas Committee
A Chara, This week I was disappointed to hear that two anti-choice representatives have decided not to appear in front of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution due to their claims of bias.
They claim that the committee has already voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment, even though this is false. The committee has voted to not retain the Eighth in full but it has not taken a vote on whether or not to allow the citizens to vote to repeal the Eighth in full yet.
After reading the letter from Dr Martin McCaffrey, one of the speakers who declined to appear, in which he called the committee a ‘charade’, a ‘theatre’ and ‘kangaroo court’, I cannot understand why he would not come before the committee to give his point of view and offer his opinions for questioning.
Anti-choice representatives claim that ‘bias’ is ingrained in the committee. If they wanted to change the percentage of anti-choice experts that present evidence to the committee the way to do so is not to remove themselves from the debate in the committee entirely. Ronan Mullen and Mattie McGrath have declined to present expert witnesses to the committee that support the anti-choice side and yet they claim bias.
Dr. McCaffrey’s claim that the majority of persons presenting to the committee are skewed in favour of abortion, including ‘six medical professionals’, may be because both medical science and human rights law are overwhelming of the opinion that making persons who need reproductive and medical care travel in their thousands each year is not in line with best practice. The majority of experts on maternity care, human rights, psychiatry and other relevant subjects say the Eighth has to go! We must listen to their voices and I hope the Oireachtas committee will as well.
Muireann Ní Shuilleabháin. Newcastle, Galway.
Deputy Mattie McGrath supporting the pro-life campaign outside Leinster House.