24.04.17: ​Citizens’ Assembly recommendation of abortion for socio-economic reasons is bizarre, unworkable and undermines credibility of entire process

Recommendations ‘scandalous and discriminatory’ – Slattery
The Pro Life Campaign has ​strongly criticised the vot​ing mechanism at the Citizen​s​’​ Assembly over the weekend which ​saw members ​pick and choose which​ ​unborn​​ lives should be protected.
Responding in particular to the vote in Ballot ​4​ ​which saw the Assembly give​ approval to abortion up to 5 months into the pregnancy for socio-economic reasons, PLC spokesperson Sinead Slattery said:​
“The fact that the Assembly vote​d​ to suggest that the ​rights of the ​unborn ​are determined by economic status is both scandalous and discriminatory.​ ​As a society we have an obligation care for the poor and to put in place structures to help those in economic distress. The suggestion that abortion is an acceptable response to ​socio-economic challenges​ is a complete rejection of our national ambition to treat all of the children of the nation equally. It puts a disturbing new twist on the notion of fiscal austerity. “
“Even if the recommendations were not discriminatory they are also entirely impractical and unworkable and no basis for any future deliberation​. How does one determine what the “socio-economic” threshold level is at which the unborn loses the right to life? Would it vary according to the living standards in different parts of the country? How would abortion for vague “socio-economic” reasons prevent Ireland from ending up like England and Wales where 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in abortion?​”
“The​re was no serious discussion at the Assembly of the regulation, and implications, of abortion up to 5 months ​in​ pregnancy for “socio-economic” reasons. This bizarre and unworkable decision to discriminate on the basis of socio-economic status is even more evidence of the credibility deficit surrounding ​the entire Citizens Assembly process.”