15.04.2013: PLC dismisses idea of “sunset clause” accompanying any legislation on abortion

15.04.2013: PLC dismisses idea of “sunset clause” accompanying any legislation on abortion

15th April 2013

“Suggestion nonetheless shows the level of concern in Fine Gael that any proposed law will be abused”, says Cora Sherlock

The Pro Life Campaign has dismissed the idea of including a “sunset clause” to accompany any legislation on abortion. The suggestion of inserting such a clause was made by a few Fine Gael TDs so that any law passed could be reviewed in a number of years to ensure it was not being exploited.

Commenting on the idea, Pro Life Campaign spokesperson, Cora Sherlock said:

“I don’t for a minute doubt the sincerity of those putting forward the proposal but, in reality, a ‘sunset clause’ would do nothing to allay pro-life concerns. There is no getting away from what X case legislation would mean in practice.

“Despite the claims of Labour TD Aodhan O Riordain and others, X Case legislation is about introducing abortion where the life of the baby can be directly targeted.

“Everyone is in agreement that pregnant women must receive whatever treatments are necessary to safeguard their lives but the X Case provides for abortion in the case of threatened suicide, even though the expert psychiatric evidence at the recent Oireachtas hearings made clear that abortion is not a treatment for suicidal ideation.

“The idea of inserting a ‘sunset clause’ into any proposal, at least, demonstrates the level of concern within Fine Gael that any legislation no matter how restrictive will be abused. Those concerns are well founded because the legislation would change everything and, for the first time, allow for the life of another human being to be intentionally ended. If such legislation were passed, there would be no going back and sunset clauses or reviews of the legislation would do nothing to alter that.

“If the current debate were honest and evidence-based, the Government would be proposing guidelines to ensure best practice for mothers and babies, not introducing legislation to satisfy the ideological demands of the junior partner in government.”