In last week’s meeting of the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment, Sinn Féin TD Jonathan O’Brien seemed quite misinformed on certain statistics regarding abortion. A witness, Ms Liz McDermott had stated that one in 20 Irish babies is aborted, and that Ireland’s abortion rate was far lower than in other countries with more liberal abortion regulations including Britain where one in five babies is aborted.
Bríd Smith TD has been criticised for tweeting “appalling” remarks about a mother who had given an moving testimony telling the Abortion Committee about her son who was diagnosed with a severe disability. In what has been an incredibly unbalanced “debate” so far, the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment heard testimony from Liz McDermott, who shared a personal and often heart-breaking story about the lack of care she has received when she discovered her preborn son’s limbs would not develop. After the Committee hearing, Bríd Smith TD, sent this appalling tweet.
Peter Fitzpatrick TD has described abortionists BPAS as a ‘horrifying charity” after their spokeswoman defended aborting babies because they were girls, and went on to defend late-term abortions. She also told Senator Rónán Mullen that she “didn’t keep track” of the number of abortions she had carried out but said it was “hundreds, maybe thousands”.
A leading medical expert has declined to appear before the Oireachtas Committee looking at abortion because he says the proceeding are so biased they amount to a 'kangaroo court'. Dr Martin McCaffey, a Professor of Pediatrics in the University of North Carolina and a leading advocate and expert for families where baby had a life-limiting condition said that he had been invited to speak at the Committee on October 26th but was then astonished to learn that the Committee had already voted in favour of abortion. "On October 26th, I received an invitation to give evidence at the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment," he wrote in an open letter on the matter this week.
A top medical expert has "regretfully refused" an invitation to appear before the Oireachtas Committee on the 8th Amendment saying that the proceeds were a "kangaroo court" and that the he would not be part of a "prejudiced process" that did not hear all the medical evidence. He added that he "hoped the Irish people will not be deceived by such theater."
The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has committed to spending scarce health funds on free abortions should the electorate repeal the 8th Amendment. Speaking on Friday Harris said that the state would fund abortion in public hospitals and that it was his belief that “if people make a decision about a health service, it should be available in the public service.” Harris's remarks were made at the launch of the implementation plan for the National Maternity Strategy.
Prof. Patricia Casey, a renowned psychiatric expert, has refused to take part in the “deeply imbalanced” Committee on the Eighth Amendment. Prof. Casey was originally scheduled to appear before the Committee on October 25th, but has since penned a letter withdrawing her participation because, she said, “it has become increasingly clear that the process of the Committee has been so arranged as to reach a pre-set decision without balanced consideration of any evidence that runs contrary to this pre-determined outcome.”
At the weekend two motions on abortion were before the 2017 Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis. One, from the London Cumann, asked the party to support A “woman’s right to choose” and repeal of the pro-life 8th amendment. The other, from the Kildare North Cumann, proposed that “the Ard Fheis requests that Fianna Fáíl opposes any attempt to diminish the constitutional rights of the unborn”.
During the hearings being held by Oireachtas Committee on Abortion, Christine Zampas, lawyer for the U.S. Centre for Reproductive Rights – a wealthy and powerful abortion lobby group – tried to paint Ireland as an unsafe place for women because of Ireland’s ban on abortion. The usual false spin.
Tim Jackson is now on his 9th day without food, and his fast against injustice has attracted huge attention to his mission, which is to ensure that legislators who are pushing to legalise abortion watch a video of the procedure. His hunger strike outside the Dáil has attracted a steady stream of supporters, while his interviews and videos on social media have gone viral, with more than 150,000 organic views.
Last week, Katherine Zappone, a woman who is meant to be the Minister for Children, sparked a storm of criticism when she give a strident speech in favour of legalising abortion in demand. Zappone demanded that it was time to stop granting equal rights to preborn babies and called for abortion to be legalised. She had previously taken part in the ‘March for Choice’ last September which called for abortion to be available without restriction.