The widely covered release of the report from the three-year review has begged the question, where has Marie O’Shea been during all this? The report has been cited by various pro-abortion campaigners and politicians in the media, but its author has been conspicuously absent from making any public comment.
This has created a sort of smokescreen for the government. The author is unavailable to answer serious criticisms of her work’s research basis, whilst the government can continue to pass the buck of responsibility to this supposedly “independent” report. The Pro Life Campaign has already drawn attention to serious flaws in the report, which have not been adequately explained or owned up to.
Despite flagrant mistakes such as her underrating of the abortion rate by 40%, the media continues to cite the abortion review report as an “independent” document underpinned by sound research. In fact, it has drawn extensively on research provided by pro-abortion groups whilst it has even ignored examining national statistics available from the HSE. This has led to a serious imbalance in its findings, which undermine the report’s extremely reckless proposals.
Senior government members have already expressed wariness about the report’s recommendations to, amongst other things, abolish the three-day waiting period. However, there must be a further recognition that the report’s recommendations are by no means objective and are in fact based on flawed and biased sources. It would never be accepted as legitimate if a government-backed report over-relied upon evidence from pro-life sources whilst ignoring official HSE statistics.
We know from the beginning that the three-year review process was deeply flawed by the fact Stephen Donnelly only met with pro-abortion groups. There has still been no explanation for why he promised in December 2021 to hold an open and public tender for the position of the review’s chairperson, but subsequently appointed a largely unknown junior counsel without going through the public tendering process.
A deeper recognition must emerge in the coming weeks in the media and politics of the fundamental flaws associated with the report and review.