The Citizens’ Assembly

 

A chara, – If the electorate and the legislators decide to reflect the position of the Citizens’ Assembly, there are practicalities to address. Current legislation under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 allows termination of pregnancy on condition that it has “regard to the need to preserve unborn human life as far as practicable”. Will this still apply? If the child survives the abortion, should the child have the protection of law, or be allowed or helped to die? If there is a possibility that the child will be born alive, should its life be terminated before the abortion procedure?

Since termination of pregnancy with no restriction as to gestational age received such high support at the Citizens’ Assembly, would this include partial-birth abortion?

Successive governments have failed to implement their constitutional obligations to address the reasons why women seek abortions.

If abortion as envisaged by the assembly is introduced, should Government be also required to put in place provisions to address those reasons, so that women would have a realistic alternative to abortion? What would be the financial cost of such abortion under our health services, including after-care? Would it lead to a proliferation of abortion clinics? Would commercial exploitation of the human remains be permitted? Would hospitals which receive public funds be obliged to carry out such abortions, even when it is contrary to their ethos and ethics? Would midwives and other medical professionals have a right to conscientious objection without it affecting their employment?

In the interests of equal rights, if a pregnant woman can legally terminate the pregnancy, can the father of the child terminate his responsibility for the child on equal terms?

The voting at the Assembly does not reflect my values. It makes the inalienable right to life optional. – Is mise,

PÁDRAIG McCARTHY,

Sandyford,

Dublin 16.