The Eighth Amendment

 

Sir, – For too many years governments and other institutions in our society have promoted violence, intimidation and control as an everyday terror for many women. Freedom of choice in personal lives is a basic right which applies to all. Those who oppose the right to abortion have made the choice not to have an abortion or are beyond child-bearing age or are male. They have no input to the decisions of others in this matter. In a just society, the decision on abortion is with the individual capable of making the decision – the pregnant girl or woman with all the facts available to them. It is time to stop this violence against women and girls. – Yours, etc,

HUGH McDERMOTT,

Dublin 6.

Sir, – Regrettably, the current UN Human Rights Committee is in error. The claim that to deny women the right to abort their children is “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” is despicable propaganda, based on the deeply offensive, prejudiced belief that these tiny victims of procured abortion are less than human and have lesser human rights than other human beings. Under Ireland’s solemn human rights treaty obligations, the right to life of every human being “without exception” is “the supreme right” and “basic to all human rights”.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has “recognised” that every child is entitled to “special safeguards and care including appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth” (See the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child).

Under the universal human rights principle of inherency, the child’s rights pre-exist birth – they inhere in the child’s humanity.

Rights are not predicated on size or seniority, or viability. To be eligible for membership of the human family, one has only to be a human. – Yours, etc,

RITA JOSEPH,

Canberra, Australia.