What a double whammy I came across as both outstanding columnists, Daniel McConnell and Michael Clifford, (Irish Examiner, 6 January), yet again put forward the Oireachtas committee spin on the right-to-life, Eighth Amendment, telling us that it is flawed, a failure and the public need to be “educated” into changing their views.
As committees go, it was more like an extended press conference given by the most opinionated advocates of abortion. Its majority report studiously evades the following pertinent facts:
Firstly, 100,000 plus are alive today because of this right-to-life amendment — these are our relatives, people we meet regularly — making it the most successful citizen-driven initiative of the twentieth century.
Secondly, according to WHO figures, Ireland is at or near the very top in Europe for maternity-care safety, and this is in spite of a chronic shortage midwives.
Thirdly, the 1983 amendment was inserted at the behest of the medical profession, so as to guard the two-patient model of scientific, evidenced-based best medical care, as set forth in Irish Medical Council Guidelines. These guidelines were easily understood, even receiving a “plain English” award.
Fourthly, there is no situation, no problem, no hard-case that aborting the baby does not immeasurably worsen. No woman regrets keeping her baby. Everyone speaks of abortion as a tragedy.
Fifthly, stripping the unborn of their Constitutional protection will make their life and death — in reality right up to birth — equally acceptable and desirable in the eyes of the State.
Both options are to be funded by us the taxpayer.
I believe this will be a step too far for an electorate which is so reticent about abortion.