Anti-choice voices on Oireach­tas Com­mit­tee

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - OPINION -

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.

Sin­cerely,

Muire­ann Ní Shuil­leab­háin. New­cas­tle, Gal­way.

Deputy Mat­tie McGrath supporting the pro-life cam­paign out­side Le­in­ster House.

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