News Roundup

Pro-Life Campaign criticises UN questioning of Ireland’s abortion laws

The Pro-Life Campaign (PLC) has criticised countries involved in a UN Human Rights Committee which criticised Ireland’s abortion laws. Following a sitting of the committee in Geneva at which Irish representatives were grilled on this country’s protection for the unborn, the PLC said of Ireland: “Far from being embarrassed, we should be challenging some of these countries over their appalling record when it comes to defending human life.” She went on to cite the records in terms of abortion of participants Canada and Denmark the latter of which, the PLC noted, “has set a goal to create a Down’s Syndromefree Denmark by 2030”. The PLC’s statement was echoed by Independent TD Mattie McGrath who described the committee’s questioning as displaying “jaw dropping levels of hypocrisy toward Ireland”.

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Ireland will see an abortion referendum – Minister

A senior minister in the new Government has said Ireland will see a referendum on abortion in the coming years. Fine Gael’s Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohue said that he is “certain” laws on abortion will be put to the people sometime after the Government’s proposed citizens’ assembly on repealing the constitutional protection for the unborn takes place.

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Sex abuse victim dies by euthanasia in The Netherlands

A sex abuse victim has died by euthanasia in the Netherlands after psychiatrists deemed her suffering to be incurable and a declaration by the victim that she could not live with her mental suffering. However, the course of action was taken despite her condition not being fatal in itself and the woman having shown signs of improvement in her mental health over the last two years with the aid of intensive therapy.

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Teaching union calls for gender neutral toilets and uniforms for primary schools

The Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) has said gender neutral toilets and uniforms for primary school children as young as four should be considered to make transgender pupils more comfortable. Peter Mullan, assistant general secretary of INTO, says people must accept we live in a changing society, and there must be recognition that some children have gender dysphoria.

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Ethos claims over Maternity Hospital a ‘red herring’ – director

Claims that doctors at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) will not be able to offer sterilisation, IVF and other procedures at odds with Catholic ethos if the facility moves to the St Vincent’s Hospital site on Dublin’s southside have been described as a “red herring” in a row over management of the facility. Despite St Vincent’s being under the control of the Religious Sisters of Charity, Prof Michael Keane, clinical director at St Vincent’s, said the assumption that such procedures cannot be carried out is “a historical thing”.

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Pro-Life Campaign criticises Higgins abortion comments

The Pro-Life Campaign (PLC) has criticised the wife of President Michael D. Higgins for describing Ireland’s abortion laws as “an outrage against women”. In a response to Sabina Higgins’ intervention on the issue of foetal abnormalities and abortion, the PLC said: “Given Ms. Higgins’s position, it is wholly inappropriate for her to have intervened in this way in the abortion debate. Before her husband became President, she was a well-known campaigner for a much more permissive abortion law in Ireland.  It is important that people are made aware of that fact following her calculated intervention into the debate …Ms Higgins has a responsibility to represent the views of more than just the abortion lobby.”

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Alabama Justice suspended for marriage defence

The Supreme Court Justice for the State of Alabama has been suspended from his post following his direction that marriage licences should not be issued to same-sex couples. Chief Justice Roy Moore now faces charges that could see him removed from the Court. The Justice had issued an Administrative Order to probate judges that both the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act prevented them from issuing licences to same-sex couples, but LGBT activists demanded an investigation of the judge based on this.

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US Catholic hospitals face legal action over abortion access

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a campaign against Catholic hospitals in the United States, based on the fact that they do not provide abortions or sterilisations, defined by the group as ‘health care’. The ACLU says it will take legal action against hospitals so as to have courts decide on what medical procedures should be offered at a medical facility, regardless of religious ethos.

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Pro-Life Campaign criticises Government move on abortion assembly

The Pro-Life Campaign (PLC) has criticised the inclusion in the programme for government of a citizens’ assembly on the constitutional protection for the unborn. Reacting to news that the Fine Gael Party had held firm on this point during negotiations with Independent TDs, Cora Sherlock of the PLC said: “Since first mooted by Fine Gael, the citizens’ assembly proposal has always been about paving the way for removing the only remaining legal protection for the unborn child. For supporters of the assembly to suggest otherwise is to mislead the public.”
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President’s wife criticises Irish abortion law

The wife of President Michael D. Higgins has criticised Ireland’s constitutional protection for the unborn during an address to Irish midwifery students. In an unscripted moment during her presentation at a debate on maternity care, Sabina Higgins touched on the issue of abortion and stated that current laws requiring women to carry to term babies who will not live long after birth is “an outrage against women”.
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