Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger raised the issue of repealing the Eighth Amendment in the Dáil yesterday.
Not to worry.
There’s a report pending.
This afternoon Clare Daly, Mick Wallace and Ruth Coppinger challenged the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar on the Eighth Amendment.
Clare Daly told the Minister to:
“Wise up. You’re a young man. Ireland’s abortion reality and rates are pretty much the same as they are in every other country.”
Mick Wallace asked the Minister,
“Is the Government more focused on the next election than on the suffering caused by the denial of services to women seeking abortions due to rape, incest, fatal foetal abnormality or serious risk to health?”
Ruth Coppinger suggested the referendum on marriage equality and repeal of the Eighth Amendment be held on the same day and said:
“It would be a double endorsement of progress in this country. It would be a signal to the rest of the world that the Catholic Church’s writ doesn’t run despite the wishes of the majority in society and it would be a hammer blow to the Catholic Church’s domination of many areas of life in this country.”
Minister Varadkar replied:
“I think it would be a really bad idea in 2015 if in the run-in to a general election for us to have that kind of debate happening in that millieu because we’ve been there before. That’s exactly what happened in 1983. In the run-up to a general election people were put in a position where they made commitments in the run-in to a general election where maybe they shouldn’t have. So let’s not repeat the mistake of 1983 and have all that again in 2015.
…It shouldn’t be done on foot of a tragedy or a very hard case and it shouldn’t be done on the run-in to a general election.”
Senator Ronan Mullen speaking in the Seanad earlier on the issue of Direct Provision:
The treatment of women in the system is deplorable. There are several male-only reception centres in the State. But there are none which provide solely for women. Many women who seek asylum in the State are fleeing the most gruesome and most unimaginable conditions sometimes involving sexual abuse or rape. And for these victims to be placed in a system where there’s an underlying fear perhaps in some cases of a recurrence of abuse is really shocking.
Tonight on BBC2, Martin Sixsmith (author of Philomena) goes on a journey to investigate the Irish Catholic Church’s role in an adoption trade which saw thousands of ‘illegitimate’ children taken from their mothers and sent abroad, often with donations to the Church flowing in the other direction.
In Ireland and in America, Martin hears the moving stories of the parents and children whose lives were changed forever and discovers evidence that prospective parents were not properly vetted – sometimes with tragic consequences.
He also witnesses the struggle of mother and child in their attempts to find each other across continents before it is too late. With no one willing to help and information scarce, for some it feels like after all these years the Catholic Church is still trying to keep them apart.