On Sunday, an RTE presenter posited this question: “How can you say the 8th amendment is necessary to prevent a UK style abortion regime, when Northern Ireland has banned abortions for years without the 8th amendment?”
Two weeks ago, politicians in Stormont voted down two proposals to make abortion available in the north where the baby was either conceived by sexual assault or had a severe disability – a so-called ‘fatal, foetal abnormality’. The measures were decisively defeated. The proposal to allow abortion where a baby has a severe disability was defeated by 59 votes to 40. A second amendment to allow abortion in the case of sexual assault was voted down by a two to one majority.
A Belfast High Court judge has ruled that abortion should be made available in the north of Ireland where the baby had a severe disability or was conceived through rape. The case was taken by the Northern Ireland Human Right Commission and the ruling has been described as driving a coach and horses through Northern Ireland’s abortion law. Precious Life, the leading anti-abortion group in the north, said that Justice Mark Horner’s ruling was ‘incompatible with human rights’, and it’s hard to see how the court could have made a ruling which was both misinformed and contradictory, and used language that was sometimes cruel and offensive.
A woman from Ireland bled to death after an abortion at a Marie Stopes clinic in West London. Three people – the abortionist, Dr Adedayo Adedeji, and two nurse colleagues, Gemma Pullen and Margaret Miller – who worked at the clinic have now been charged with manslaughter. Reporting from the Irish media on the case has been confined to four-sentence news snippets. There has been no blaze of publicity, no calls for an inquiry, and no hard questions asked of the abortion industry.