BREAKING: Lawyer for 'X' case is member of government's expert group on abortion
Jan. 16, 2012
The Life Institute has said that it has "serious concerns"' with an expert group on abortion established by the Irish government following revelations that at least three members of group have been linked to abortion advocacy and to a drive to legalise embryo research.
The expert group was established to advise the government on Ireland's abortion laws following the 2010 ruling in the European Court which claimed the Irish Constitution allowed for abortion because of the 1992 X case.
"Today we got confirmation that a senior counsel who has been appointed to the expert committee - Mary O'Toole - acted to establish a 'right' to abortion in the infamous X case in 1992," said Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute. The X case was used in an attempt to overturn Ireland's pro-life constitutional provisions and introduce abortion.
"The government has also appointed Dr Deirdre Madden, a UCC law lecturer, to the group. Madden previously wrote that "there are very strong reasons for believing the embryo is not yet a person. Then the group contains general practitioner Ailish Ní Riain who has written guidelines describing unborn children as 'contents of the uterus' and insisting that doctors should assist in referring mothers for abortion."
Ms Uí Bhriain said that the largest party in government, Fine Gael, had made an election promise not to legalise abortion, and that they could not now rely on a quango to overturn that promise.
"Unfortunately, we've seen that committees like this have been used in the past to carry out a pre-ordained anti-life agenda, such as the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction which was stacked 20:1 against the right-to-life," said the Life Institute spokeswoman. "We're writing to an Taoiseach, Enda Kenny to tell him that there are three key facts that the government's expert group on abortion cannot ignore. We also point out that at least three of the appointments give rise to serious concerns about the independence and impartiality of the expert group". "
She said the three key facts that the expert group on abortion could not ignore were:
- Abortion is never medically necessary. Expert testimony has already been given to a government committee on this issue, where leading Irish experts confirmed that interventions for conditions such as ectopic pregnancy and cancer were not considered abortion by medical professionals since the intention was never to harm the child.
- The European Court ruling places Ireland under no obligation to legalise abortion since the Irish Constitution confirms that it is the people, being sovereign, who will decide such matters. Successive opinion polls show that Ireland's ban on abortion enjoys the support of the majority of the people.
- According to the United Nations, Ireland, without recourse to abortion, is the safest place in the world for a mother to have a baby. The expert group should also recognise the undeniable scientific evidence which shows abortion produces negative mental outcomes for women.
Notes to the Reader
The Expert Group will be chaired by Mr Justice Seán Ryan and has to report back to Government within six months with options on how to implement the judgment of the European Court.
The Composition of Expert Group on Abortion is as follows;
- The Group will be chaired by Mr. Justice Seán Ryan and consist of thirteen other members;
- Dr Peter Boylan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
- Dr Mary Holohan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
- Dr Imelda Ryan, Psychiatrist,
- Dr Ailish Ni Riain, General Practitioner
- Dr Mark Walsh, General Practitioner
- Ms Christine O'Rourke, Office of the Attorney General
- Ms Mary O'Toole, Senior Counsel
- Ms Joanelle O'Cleirigh, Solicitor
- Ms Denise Kirwin, Solicitor
- Dr. Deirdre Madden, Medical Council
- Dr Maura Pidgeon, An Bord Altranais
- Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health
- Mr Bernard Carey, Assistant Secretary, Department of Health
Category | Abortion : Ireland
Published By | Life Institute