The Eighth Amendment


Sir, – Minister for Children Katherine Zappone is reported to have claimed in her address to the Kennedy Summer School that, “As long as the Constitution treats the foetus as equal to a woman, her autonomy can be no more than a myth” (“Zappone repeats call for repeal of Eighth Amendment”, News, September 7th).

In fact, the Constitution recognises that a baby in the womb and a woman share a right in common, namely that they have an equal right to life. This does not give the baby precedence over the mother’s right to life. In fact, the opposite is true, as the pregnancy may be brought to an end if the mother’s life is in danger, even if unintentionally resulting in the death of the child. There are two lives, both with rights.

Now the Minister, in pursuit of justice and equality, is seeking to give the more powerful party the absolute right of life and death over the one who is weaker and more vulnerable. But where is the justice for the baby in the womb, who cannot speak up to defend herself? Where is the equality when one person can decide the life of another? The Minister should think again. – Yours, etc, 


Charleville, Co Cork.