Abortion In Ireland: Not So Much Debate, As Debacle – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Abortion In Ireland: Not So Much Debate, As Debacle

For anyone who followed the “debate” surrounding the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, it will come as no surprise that the enactment provisions have been described as “very haphazard and unsatisfactory” by the College of Psychiatrists, who have taken the further step of advising its members not to participate in the reviews panels intended under the legislation to assess pregnant women expressing suicidal thoughts.  

By mentioning its “extreme concern” that the legislation provides for no GP guidelines, the College has highlighted a number of flaws that exist under the legislation, but Minister Reilly has already brushed such concerns aside, insisting that this is a matter for the Medical Council.  When pressed on whether abortions could be carried out without the guidelines, his response was interesting:-

“You can.  Absolutely. Totally.  The most important thing you need is the panel of experts to review an appeal case.”

From the news, it seems that the College of Psychiatrists isn’t prepared to advise its own members to take the risk, and who can blame them?  During the discussions on the Bill last summer, the Government ignored the concerns of 113 psychiatrists who expressed serious concerns over advocating abortion as a treatment for suicide ideation on the grounds that it wasn’t supported by any medical evidence whatsoever.  

They weren’t the only experts whose evidence was swept under the carpet.  When the Irish Medical Organisation rejected motions calling for the legalisation of abortion at their Conference, it didn’t make any difference to the Government’s plans.  Even the refusal of the Irish College of General Practitioners to support the Bill fell on deaf ears.  As the months progressed, it became abundantly clear that the Government was set on a course of action and the lack of any evidence to support their plan was not going to dissuade them.  

It’s no surprise then, that the enactment of the law is proving so difficult.  The central tenet is faulty. There is no evidence anywhere in the world, that shows that an abortion is a suitable treatment for a pregnant woman.  By enacting this legislation, the Minister and his Government have set the psychiatric and medical profession in this country on a course of extreme professional error, not to mention endangering the lives and well-being of women and babies in Ireland.

This latest criticism of the Minister’s Act should cause us all to pause for thought.  Minister Reilly is still boasting about the fact that this Government wasn’t the seventh to leave the issue of abortion untouched. On that score, he is correct.  This Coalition has done far worse than that. They will be remembered for having introduced a piece of legislation in direct contravention of international medical and psychiatric evidence, and do not have the bravery to realise they were wrong.  

But we shouldn’t be too surprised.  The Minister didn’t even have the courtesy to debate this Act in public; if he wasn’t prepared to defend it back then, what hope is there that he will accept his mistake now?

Better go back than go wrong, as the saying goes, but this Government is not for turning.  This Act, they say, will be last one when it comes to abortion.  “That’s the end of that”, Minister Reilly claims, echoing the desperation of the Taoiseach when he assured the electorate that he would “get rid of it” on that infamous night in July. 

But the Irish electorate aren’t like that, and when the Minister talks about a commitment to legislate that has been fulfilled, he is only reminding them of the commitment that Fine Gael broke – a commitment to remain opposed to, and not to legislate for, abortion.  Irish pro-life voters will hold Fine Gael to that broken commitment.  They will not forget the betrayal of a Party on this most important issue of human life.  Just as they gave their votes to protect human life before the last election, they will withhold them from those politicians who have so arrogantly put those lives in jeopardy.

Minister Reilly may think he can rest easy with the belief that his part in this debacle is over, but it’s really just beginning.  And as the New Year arrives, the ballot boxes of 2016 come ever closer.

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7 Comments on Abortion In Ireland: Not So Much Debate, As Debacle

  1. Citing methodologically flawed studies to support anti abortion agenda is not the way forward.

    Choosing to abort or keep the child in unwanted pregnancies has no adverse affects on women.

    • Cormac McCann said: “Choosing to abort or keep the child in unwanted pregnancies has no adverse affects on women.”
      However, choosing to abort the life of the unborn baby has a HUGE and irrereversible effect on the child.

      • I think you are missing the very point of the debate.
It does not encourage unnecessary cases of abortion, The debate is directly debating necessary cases for abortion.

Lets not live in the dark ages, Lets not be unreasonable here. The moral discussion that everyone is having is an unbalanced one.

        Many a times, abortion helps to safeguard women’s health. There are many women, who suffer from various hazardous medical conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, severe hypertension, sickle-cell anemia, severe diabetes, etc. As these diseases can be life-threatening, an abortion often helps to avoid serious medical complications from childbirth. But abortion should be carried out after proper medical advice as it can lead to potential miscarriages in the future.
        In male chauvinistic societies, women are considered nothing more than child bearing machines. Therefore, a right to abortion gives her an individual identity, as per which she can decide the fate of her child. Even though my last point is directly debating the law to allow the choice for abortion. Lets not stray from the actual issue though as per my aforementioned.

        • Have you bothered to try and understand the report above? The psychiatrists have already stated, unanimously that aborton is not a cure for suicidal thoughts – yet the Government have ignored that expert advice and passed the legislation. Evidence was presented to the Governemnt by many psychiatrists that abortion directly leads to years – even decades – of mental ilness, self harming and broken family life. The point was made and has been made ad-infinitum that treatment in cases of serious medical conditions should always take into account the existence of two patients and that the intentional death of one does not benefit the other.

      • Brenda Major, PhD, Chair
        Mark Appelbaum, PhD
        Linda Beckman, PhD
        Mary Ann Dutton, PhD
        Nancy Felipe Russo, PhD
        Carolyn West, PhD.

        They all agree.

        The biggest issue both sides of the argument have are really flawed. There is not enough analytical data available to make a case for or against abortion in the case of suicide. Psychiatrists cannot assume which is what they have done in this national debate.

        As advised by Patricia Casey, “Pregnant women with mental health problems or who may be at risk of suicide are entitled to have treatment which is appropriate, safe and effective. Pregnancy is not a contraindication to effective psychological or pharmacological treatment.” Pregnancy is a medical state as such.

        As Professor John Chambers stated recently.
        “Pro-life people need to understand that pro-choice people are not necessarily opposed to the value of human life or a moral code of sexual conduct, but they’re just more strongly in favor of women’s reproductive rights and freedom from government interference in private lives,” he said. “At the same time, pro-choice people should see that pro-life people are not against women’s reproductive rights and freedom from government interference, they’re simply more supportive of the value of human life and a moral code of sexual conduct.”

        Research Data to back up my point? I don’t see any reference data in the article.

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