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12 Weeks …… January 12, 2018

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Following Leo Varadkars announcement that there is concern among many politicians that the proposal to allow abortions in Ireland without restrictions up to 12 weeks may go one step too far for the majority of the public……
This makes depressing reading …

Most of Fianna Fáil’s frontbench are opposed to allowing unrestricted access to abortion for pregnancies up to 12 weeks or have concerns about liberalising the laws to that extent.

Included among them is Jim O’Callaghan who says…

“I believe the current system is too restrictive and should be amended to deal with fatal foetal abnormalities, rape, and threats to the health of the mother. This could be achieved through amending or repealing the Eighth Amendment. I do not support the proposal for abortion up to 12 weeks as I am concerned it would significantly increase the number of pregnancies with Down syndrome or other disabilities that are terminated.”

Party Colleague and member of the 8th Committee Billy Kelleher “pointed out that tests for Down syndrome and other disabilities were only available at 20 weeks, one of the reasons the 12-week cut-off was chosen.”

If we are not going to vote on the recommendations of the 8th Committee , then what is the alternative?
There are so many grey areas (How can someone prove they were raped?…. etc) , which is in part why the Committee went for 12 weeks.

It’s as if, many TD’s didn’t bother reading the 8th Committee report at all and are carrying on as before.


1. dublinstreams - January 12, 2018

We’re not going to vote on the recommendations of the 8th Committee, TDs might vote on legislation related to them at some point.


2. Pasionario - January 12, 2018

Of course, Jim. This is all about Down Syndrome. Thanks for clearing that up, mate.

Liked by 1 person

3. benmadigan - January 12, 2018

I have yet to understand why abortion (particularly within the 12 week limit) is not simply a matter to be discussed and decided between a woman and her doctor.

Later abortions raise other more serious medical issues – all the more reason why they should be decided between the woman and her doctor.

Anyone that doesn’t like it can just butt out – it’s got nothing whatsoever to do with you!

In any case, if a person does not approve of abortion, she will never have one – so what’s the prob, babes?

Live and let live!Stop dictating how others live their lives.

Remember: Neither church nor state has a role to play in regulating women’s bodies.



4. Mick 2 - January 13, 2018

Nothing surprising about any of this.

Varadkar, as usual, instead of setting out the arguments or his own position, offering irrelevant bar-stool conjecture.

Myths, in this case stuff about Down’s and Iceland, etc., debunked 1,000 times, being repeated ad nauseam by TDs unwilling to read the counter-arguments to the non-arguments. (Although note that B. Kelleher, a member of the committee, indicates some grasp of the facts.)

Hardly surprising either that big numbers of FF TDs are already declaring opposition, though I suppose A. Moynihan represents another school of thought in the party… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9birCVKMukc

I’ve heard much comment to the effect that the Citizens’ Assembly and the committee on the eighth have shown that where people are exposed to the medical and legal facts, they develop a more pro-choice position. I think there’s some truth to that, but a) the lifers on the committee such as Mattie McGrath and Peter Fitzpatrick were present for many of the excellent presentations, which arguments seemed to fall on obstinately deaf ears. They often proceeded to make charges (rarely did they ask questions as such) which, if they had listened to the presentations, they might have understood were already directly countered. I think it’s more that when exposed to the arguments based on international human rights law, best medical practice and even (gasp) feminism, those who have reservations about abortion but who also have a modicum of compassion, understanding and adaptability (i.e. not Mattie McGrath) come to understand at least that an exceptions-based legislative regime is cruel and unworkable, whatever their personal reservations.

“It’s as if, many TD’s didn’t bother reading the 8th Committee report at all and are carrying on as before.”

Yeah, and I think that was always going to happen. The backbench TDs who simply aren’t interested in educating themselves on the issue will read the headline in the Irish Times that the proposal is abortion on request up to 12 weeks, read no further, not bother to equip themselves with the nuances of the proposition, and think, “Hmm, not sure about that.”

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - January 13, 2018

And just to add to your fifth paragraph, which I think is very very important re who and how people can change their minds, with McG and PF the religious aspect is key too. That is the referent which underpins their inability to countenance any flexibility (ironically more so than some religious I know).


Mick 2 - January 14, 2018

Yeah, absolutely, but sometimes I think the religious aspect is overstated when it comes to the intractability of some of these lads. No doubt both P. Fitzpatrick and M. McGrath both have their religious loyalties, but so do other, slightly more intelligent, more open-minded deputies and senators who have come to the pragmatic, common-sense conclusion that, whatever their personal views on the matter (ya, often formed by Catholic social teaching), the incidence and trends dictate that the system must be overhauled. To be crude and haughty, there is, on the personal level, an imbecility to characters like Fitzpatrick and McGrath that will never allow them escape their self-prescribed ignorance, their sexism and, most importantly, their prioritisation for electoral purposes of what they presume to be (perhaps correctly–I’m not overly familiar with their turf) the dominant mood “on the ground”.


5. GW - January 14, 2018

Much as I hate them, isn’t it time for a social meeja campaign now to ensure that the 12 week option is on the referendum paper?

Something along the line of ‘I pledge to give no preference whatsoever to any politician that opposed putting the 12 week option on the referendum about the 8th amendment’.

If it ‘went viral’ it could strengthen their backbones.


dublinstreams - January 14, 2018

either I’ve totally misunderstood this or you have, there’s not going to any weeks on the referendum paper (I presume you mean ballot) EIther it will be repeal the 8th or perhaps the government is going to come up with some other wording to replace (which again won’t mention weeks). There are going to publish the heads of bill before the referendum as indication of what the legislation will be but it could totally change after ther referendum as it goes through the Oireachtas.


GW - January 14, 2018

Almost certainly I’ve got it wrong, DS. So just to clarify: the referendum will be to repeal the 8th and then the Oireachtas gets to choose what legislation replaces it?

And that’s where the pressure should b applied, assume the referendum passes?

Or have I got it wrong again?


Alibaba - January 14, 2018

I believe that the Oireachtas committee suggested that the law be amended to permit termination up to 12 weeks’ gestation with no restrictions in circumstances of a GP practice and licencing authorisation. Fools they would be if the government doesn’t submit a draft legislative document along these lines to accompany the referendum bill proposal. DS is right about the heads of bill publication, but a riddle spans between what they say and what they do.


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