Archbishop against rushed changes

Sat, Dec 1, 2012, 00:00

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has again criticised people who have portrayed Ireland as a “dangerous country” for pregnant women. He was responding to questions yesterday following the death of Savita Halappanavar.

“I think, in some cases, there has been an exaggeration , and even in some of the debate here in Ireland. To say that ‘Ireland is a dangerous place to be pregnant’ – phrases like those don’t help.”

He agreed with Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s stance that any rush to change abortion legislation would be a bad idea.

“On the other hand, if there are problems of a medical nature, then the appropriate bodies, including the Medical Council, have given guidance; and if that guidance is insufficient they should look at it.” He praised the medical profession for how it dealt with situations plagued by legal uncertainty.

“I constantly say there’s nothing in Catholic teaching which gives a priority to either the mother or the unborn child. They both have the same dignity, and the great tradition in Ireland, in our hospitals, has been to be able to work to save both the mother and child in difficult situations.”