The Eighth Amendment
Sir, – Senator Catherine Noone is reported by your newspaper to have said that she could not find a doctor or a medical expert who was willing to defend the Eighth Amendment before the Oireachtas committee of which she was chairwoman. Doctors for Life would like to clarify that we did indeed receive an email asking us if our organisation would like to receive an invitation to appear before the Oireachtas committee. However, this was after the committee had already taken the vote to recommend repealing the Eighth Amendment. We decided that we did not wish to receive an invitation. – Yours, etc,
Dr ORLA HALPENNY,
Sir, – Rob Sadlier (February 23rd) complains that a previous letter-writer chooses to ignore the other side of the argument, being the asserted right to life of the 12 week-old foetus. In so doing, Mr Sadlier ignores the potential plight, interests and circumstances of the pregnant woman. We need to address both sides.
The Eighth Amendment posits a legal parity of the pregnant woman or pregnant girl, on the one hand, and the foetus, on the other hand. The decision, with which the electorate will be faced later this year, before or after the papal visit, will be whether in the light of experience and litigation since 1983, legal parity should be maintained by retaining the Eighth Amendment.
For some of us, the Eighth Amendment is unacceptable because we don’t consider a 12-week old foetus to be on a par, legally or in human value terms, with a pregnant woman. That is why we wish to see the Eighth Amendment repealed. – Yours, etc,