By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. A “TD” is a member of the lower house of the Irish Parliament. “Fine Gael “ is a political party.
It was a development years in the making and carefully orchestrated by a pro-abortion coalition which included international organizations such as Amnesty International and billionaires. Yesterday, the committee within the Irish legislature [Oireachtas] charged with deciding what to do with the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees the equal rights of the mother and the unborn child, backed a total repeal of the amendment with any future abortion laws to be decided solely by Parliament.
“While no decision will be made until Wednesday, in their individual public statements yesterday, 12 of the 21 committee members said they want to repeal the Eighth Amendment and that no other option will suffice,” reported Fiachra Ó Cionnaith of the Irish Examiner.
What happened Wednesday was the latest escalation. As NRL News Today previously reported, last April a thoroughly stacked “Citizen’s Assembly,” consisting of 99 people and chaired by a Supreme Court judge, voted on a series of questions.
None of the three options included retaining the Eighth Amendment [“article 40.3.3’] intact. One questions— a constitutional change allowing the Parliament to legislate on abortion—received 57% approval, according to the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).
Once the committee formally announces its position next Wednesday, “The Government will be tasked with preparing a wording for the referendum, which is due to take place in May, and preparing legislation for possible changes,” the Irish Times reported. “Its final report will be completed by December 20th.”
According to both The Examiner and The Times, the bulk of the rationale for rejecting any position short of total repeal was that “it would be frankly insulting to women to amend or replace article 40.3.3”; women should be allowed “to make decisions about their own bodies”; and that “a repeal of the Eighth Amendment is the most practical way to go about this.”
Critics have lambasted the committee for its one-sidedness and out-and-out bias. As one professor who declined to testify wrote, “In reviewing the proceedings, testimony and transcripts from records on the committee website one can only conclude that the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth is a ‘kangaroo court’. It is simply stunning that most committee members did not see the need for a fair hearing for such a momentous issue as the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, but were satisfied with such a prejudiced process. I hope that the Irish people will not be deceived by such theatre.”
Yesterday critics were no less infuriated. Ó Cionnaith reporte:
Pro-life committee members Independent senator Ronan Mullen, Independent TD Mattie McGrath, and Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick called for the Eighth Amendment to be retained.
Mr. McGrath said their membership on the committee was about “plausible deniability.” He accused committee chair and Fine Gael senator Catherine Noone of bias and said the debate was part of “fine-tuning to sell recommendations.”