Colm O Gorman needs to clarify his position, says Sherlock
Pro Life Campaign volunteers outside Amnesty’s conference in Dublin today
The Pro Life Campaign has said that Amnesty Ireland’s call in recent days for the repeal of the 8th Amendment “is a further sad reminder that the organisation has drifted very far from its founding principles and is now a de facto abortion lobby group.”
Earlier today, the Pro Life Campaign held an awareness event outside the entrance to Amnesty’s International Council Meeting, which is taking place this week in Dublin.
Commenting on Amnesty’s current stance on abortion, Sinead Slattery of the Pro Life Campaign said: “Amnesty Ireland completely blanks aspects of the debate that show the abortion industry in a poor light. They constantly berate Ireland over its abortion laws but refuse to condemn horrific human rights abuses like the situation in places like Britain and Canada where babies that survive botched abortions are routinely left in the corners of hospitals to die alone without receiving any medical attention. (i) (ii) Amnesty has no credibility reprimanding others on abortion while it refuses to intervene and do something about these barbaric practices happening in the name of ‘choice’.
“Amnesty’s spokespeople are happy to criticise the laws in this country but they refuse to acknowledge that there are tens of thousands of people alive in Ireland today because of the Life Equality Amendment (8th Amendment) introduced in 1983. Some of our most active supporters considered abortion at some point themselves but changed their mind at the last minute and today cannot believe that they ever contemplated ending the life of their child. There is nothing in Amnesty’s campaign that takes account of these realities or the fact that many women deeply regret the decision they made to abort their child.
“In the past few weeks too, we have seen how Amnesty has turned a blind eye to the international debate over the videos emerging from an undercover investigation into Planned Parenthood clinics in the United States. Despite the horror of what has come to light regarding the harvesting and sale of the body parts of unborn children, Amnesty has not added its voice to those expressing outrage at these blatant human rights abuses. This is no way for an organisation that wants to be taken seriously as a human rights defender to behave. It is a further, sad reminder that Amnesty has drifted very far from its founding principles and is now a de facto abortion lobby group.”
In a separate development, Amnesty Chief Executive Colm O’Gorman said yesterday that legislation must be introduced to allow for abortion in cases of ‘severe and fatal foetal impairment.’
Commenting on his remarks, Cora Sherlock, Deputy Chairperson of the Pro Life Campaign said: “This will come as a huge shock to many people who are caring for beloved family members living with what can be termed as ‘severe disability’. Many conditions such as Down Syndrome and cystic-fibrosis can be diagnosed in the womb and could fall under the heading of ‘severe foetal impairment’ referred to by Mr. O’Gorman.”
Ms Sherlock asked: “Is Colm O’Gorman now saying that abortion should be offered when one of these conditions is diagnosed prenatally? He needs to clarify his position without delay.”
(i) Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health. Perinatal Mortality 2005: England, Wales and Northern Ireland, CEMACH: London; (2007)
(ii) Statistics Canada, Deaths, by cause, Chapter XVI: Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period, ‘Termination of pregnancy, affecting fetus and newborn’ or P96.4, 2000 to 2009; (2012)