According to an Irish Times article from 13th May, the highly flawed and extreme abortion review report is due to be considered by the Oireachtas joint health committee next week. The same article claims the joint committee will hold a total of just two hearings at the end of May and will likely agree not to make any recommendations to the government, instead referring the report back to the cabinet.
There have already been reports of tensions within the cabinet over the report’s proposals, which would see a reversion of several key promises made by the Yes campaign during the divisive 2018 referendum. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has already acknowledged: “It won’t be the case that the Government is going to sign-off on any legislative changes, that’s not going to happen.”
However, several campaign organisations, who were instrumental in determining the shape of the review in collaboration with the Minister for Health, have demanded legislative change. A National Women’s Council spokesperson even called for the removal of all gestational limits from the abortion law, which would allow horrific 9-month abortions.
It’s crucial that our elected representatives are held to account. A large percentage of Yes voters in 2018 never wanted to see the sort of abortion regime which has emerged, and would not support stripping away the last vestiges of basic protections from the law. The government, and Stephen Donnelly in particular, cannot be allowed to change the abortion law whilst hiding behind the pretence that this report is “independent”.