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Minority report October 13, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

It’s difficult to feel that the complaint from some members of the Committee on the Eighth Amendment is very valid…

Independent TD Mattie McGrath and Senator Rónán Mullen say they are actively considering whether there is any point in them remaining on as members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment.

They feel that…

…the committee’s work has become “skewed in favour of abortion”.

But it is difficult not to feel that they are only belatedly realising that the weight of opinion in the state on the matter is tilted some way away from them, and certainly sufficiently so that Repeal (whatever about further movement on the issue) is feasible and this has been reflected in the Committee.

It’s interesting that there are also complaints about a lack of decorum. That may well be true to a degree, but I’m long in the tooth enough to recall the visceral rage hurled at those who even mildly dissented from the absolute certainties on abortion in the 1980s and after. Many of us here are. That that has left a legacy is hardly surprising.


1. CL - October 13, 2017

“Varadkar’s recent indecisive utterances suggest that he, too, would like to water down the reforms….”

“The Tyrone Hibernians are gearing up for a very active period on a number of fronts, including participation in the forthcoming abortion referendum in the South….
“The theme will be very much a focus on Faith and Fatherland. Strongly Catholic and Patriotically Irish”, said the Tyrone AOH president Gerry McGeough.”


2. Alibaba - October 13, 2017

I saw Senator Rónán Mullen on the Tonight programme last night. He ranted about the Commitee being full of people who were “pro abortion”. So said the veteran pro life campaigner who has the temerity to accuse others of having their work “skewed in favour of abortion”.

It was as though he thought he could outwit all by continuously talking. When challenged by a presenter about retreating from the Committee because of “losing the argument”, umbrage was taken. Under visible bristling with tension he eventually agreed that he didn’t raise concerns with the Committee chairperson. So much for his much desired ‘decorum’.

We know that there are many views, often strongly held, around the debate about the removal of the eighth amendment. And much confusing and unclear proposals about what should follow. Yet Mullen made no mention of the substantive arguments of other contributor invitees who referenced reports around medical or legal expertise regarding removal of the eighth. All this was disregarded; their presence was damned instead. No such treatment was to be given to William Binchy, the primary legal adviser of the Pro Life Campaign, whose moral judgements were made relentlessly.

One doesn’t have to be a pro-choicer, but rather to believe that it’s unacceptable to make decisions about pregnancy for other people. Hence, the necessity for legislative provision for terminations on request with no restriction as to reasons. Any limited provision (say around the grounds currently supported by FF, FG or even Labour and SF) will prove problematic and will most likely face legal challenges by the Right anyway.


3. Mick 2 - October 14, 2017

It’s not just the weight of opinion, though; as Alibaba alluded to, if the committee is to hear from experts or stakeholders or whatever you want to call them in the fields of medicine, human rights law and treaty-monitoring bodies, etc., again a pro-abortion (that is, pro the availability of abortion) position will be reflected in the contributions of witnesses because that is the position that accords with best medical practice and international human rights norms (and these are far from weasel terms). Maybe Mullen and Mattie McGrath expect a 50/50 balance of “both sides of the argument” because they’re used to the issue being handled this way by RTE in its relentless quest for bogus “balance”. Support for the position of Mullen, Binchy et al (total abortion ban, regardless of the catastrophic consequences for women and families) hovers around 8% to 12% in opinion polls here. Yet they expect 50% or more of the contributors to favour their position; if not, the committee is “pro-abortion”.

I watched the session with Binchy and an international human rights lawyer. The former had to follow the latter’s opening statement, and it was remarkable the relentless marshalling of indisputable facts, properly referenced, versus Binchy’s statement, in which he basically said, albeit not in so many words, “Look, I can’t actually prove anything I’m going to say so I’m just going to rely on appeals to emotion.”


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