Oireachtas Hearing this week help clarify a number of important issues – PLC
11th January 2013
The Hearings on Abortion before the Oireachtas Health Committee this week have helped to clarify a number of important issues. Having submitted our written opinion, the Pro Life Campaign were represented at the hearings by our Professor William Binchy, Caroline Simons, and Dr. Berry Kiely.
As a result, the following important points have now been read into the Oireachtas Record on the Hearings:-
There is no evidence that abortion reduces the mental health risks of unwanted or mis-timed pregnancy. In her submission to the Committee, Caroline Simons quoted directly from the Fergusson Study in the British Journal of Psychiatry which confirms this position.
As a result, there is no justification for introducing abortion as a supposed “treatment” for suicidality. Legalising abortion on these grounds would mean that unborn babies would have their lives ended for a reason which cannot be justified.
The introduction of abortion legislation would cause a major cultural change in Ireland. For the first time, society would perceive that the right to life of the unborn is not important and does not deserve full protection under the law. As in other countries, this would, in time, lead to other groups of society losing their inherent human rights.
Doctors are fully able to treat pregnant women in Ireland under existing law and with the added assistance of the Irish Medical Council Guidelines which are fully understood by doctors. No doctors have felt the need to withhold treatment from women in Irish hospitals due to a fear of prosecution, and no prosecutions have ever taken place.
The ABC Case does not require the Irish government to introduce legislation. It requires that we have a clear law, so that people can know what that law is and how it affects them. It does not require the legalisation of abortion.
The X Case is a flawed judgement and a poor basis for legislation. The Court in X heard no medical evidence, no psychiatric evidence, and they found no duty of care to protect the unborn child. It’s claim that abortion will somehow treat a pregnant woman is contradicted by current psychiatric evidence.
When responding to the Committee of Ministers as required by ABC, the Government should commit the Irish Medical Council to drawing up guidelines to deal specifically with the issues surrounding medical interventions for physical complications of pregnancy. This will provide the clarity in the law that is required.
You can view the written submission on behalf of the Pro Life Campaign here
Watch Dr Berry Kiely being interviewed on last night's RTÉ Six One New here
Hear Dr. Berry Kiely on Today with Pat Kenny radio programme today here