The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has criticised those who “put pictures of miscarried babies, with my image” up in his Wicklow constituency “with a view to intimidate and upset” his family, friends and constituents. pic.twitter.com/Jj5xxj8Ul2
Former health minister, now Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar
Ahead of the Dáil voting on Thursday, June 30, on a referendum bill proposed by Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace, which would allow for abortions in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities…
[Former Health] Minister Leo Varadkar says the 8th Amendment was not considered fully and properly before being added to the Constitution.
Leo Varadkar says considering the repeal of the amendment should not be rushed.
However he conceded that it cannot be put on the long finger either.
“Part of the reason why our abortion laws have given us so much trouble in this country is because we put an amendment into the Constitution in 1983 without considering it fully and properly,” he suggested.!
Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking about the 8th amendment in the Dáil last week
You may recall Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s comments about the 8th amendment last week.
And the subsequent appeal for him to correct the Dáil record.
Earlier today, during Order of Business, the opportunity for him to correct the record arose when Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy raised the matter.
Catherine Murphy: “Will the Taoiseach confirm that the Cabinet discussed the preparation of legislation for the IBRC Cregan inquiry? Is there a timeline for that and the changing of the terms of reference for the inquiry?”
“The €12 million diverted from mental health appears now to have been, more or less, put back into the mental health area. It was diverted, we were told, because there was insufficient time to recruit the staff. Is it envisaged that the money will be diverted for the recruitment of staff and is there some sort of a changed mechanism for doing that?”
“The other day in a debate, the Taoiseach made some erroneous points relating to the eighth amendment to the Constitution, particularly that there had been several referenda about the eighth amendment. Will he take the opportunity to correct the record on that particular issue? We have not had a referendum on it for 30 years and there are different elements.”
Enda Kenny: “Following the meeting I had with the Deputy and other parties last week, I can confirm that this morning the Government approved the drafting of a Bill in respect of the general scheme of the commissions of investigation dealing with IBRC.”
“That was the approval of the urgent drafting of legislation to enhance the powers of the commission of investigation into IBRC along the lines of a general scheme that we discussed, together with all the consequent challenges that lie therein. Second, the Government noted the approach proposed regarding the revision of the terms of reference for the commission of investigation into the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation following consultations by me and Ministers with members of the Opposition parties.”
“We discussed the drafting of legislation to allow for this in modular form, to have terms of reference to allow an investigation into the Siteserv issue, which is a matter of public concern raised here on many occasions, and the allowing of future modules to be inserted into that, if necessary. Approval was given for that this morning.”
Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl: “There are two other matters.”
Kenny: “The Minister for Health met representatives of the Psychiatric Nurses Association of Ireland last Friday. The money has been restored in full for what was originally intended for mental health and the Minister of State, Deputy McEntee, will outline the details of how it is to be spent. With regard to recruitment, there will be a focus on attracting psychiatric nurses back to Ireland and more places for psychiatric nursing training.”
“I answered a question to Deputy Bríd Smith last week on the eighth amendment. This was put into the Constitution in 1983 and in February 1992 there was a Supreme Court judgment in the X case.”
“In 1992, there was also a referendum to reverse the X case judgment and that referendum was defeated, and there was also a referendum on the right to travel, which was passed.”
“In the same year there was a referendum on the right to information, which was also passed. In 2002, there was a referendum to reverse the X case judgment and that was narrowly defeated. I am just getting the chronological sequence right.”
“Although I know it is not the Deputy’s intention to have this treated in any way as a political football, it is a sensitive and profound issue that must be teased out very carefully with regard to action that might be taken by the people.”
“There would be a citizens’ assembly and the Dáil process to establish it if there is a consensus for change. That is very necessary and what I intend to do.”
Ruth Coppinger: “Is that the Taoiseach correcting the record?”
Michael Healy-Rae: “Taoiseach – turf.”
Micheál Martin: “Turf, is it?”
Healy-Rae: “Is it fair to say that the last Government made a grave error in banning farmers from cutting turf in certain bogs? I am referring to the priority legislation, the wildlife (amendment) Bill. Is it factual to say the last Government made a grave error in stopping farmers from cutting turf on certain bogs?”…
Taoiseach Enda Kenny was asked by Anti-Austerity Alliance – People Before Profit TDs Ruth Coppinger and Brid Smith about the Goverment’s plans to hold a citizen’s assembly on the 8th amendment.
Enda Kenny: “The fact of the matter is that in 1983, the 8th amendment was introduced into the Bunreacht na hEireann, the Irish constitution, by the Irish people. And that was guarantee to the right to life of the unborn. There were three referenda after that. And, in each case, in each of those referenda, by the people, not just by any parties, the people decided to keep that reference in the constitution.”
Ruth Coppinger: “Sorry, Ceann Comhairle, that’s completely. The people did not vote on the eighth amendment subsequently. They voted on side issues including information..”
Ceann Comhairle: “Will you let the Taoiseach answer, please.”
Further to this, the group Terminations For Medical Reasons (TFMR) has written an open letter to the Taoiseach, stating:
We in TFMR Ireland found it absolutely appalling that you deliberately mislead the Dail, the Oireachtas and the people of Ireland yesterday when in Dáil Éireann you made the following statement in relation to the 8th Amendment to the Constitution: –
“The fact of the matter is… there were three referenda after that and in each case, in each of those referenda by the people, not just by any parties, the people decided to keep that reference in the Constitution.”
This was a false statement and one which we believe was intended to deceive the Dáil, the Oireachtas, the people of Ireland and the watching world into believing that the Irish people have had three opportunities to determine whether or not to retain the 8th Amendment.
We would like to point out to you, Taoiseach, that the fact of the matter is that on no occasion since 1983 has any such choice been put to us.
…The people of Ireland have never had an opportunity to Repeal the 8th and could not therefore have, on three occasions “decided to keep that reference in the Constitution.”
You, Taoiseach, were a fervent advocate for the insertion of the 8th back in 1983 and have been complicit in the abuse of thousands of women in Ireland in the intervening period by continuing to deny them their Human Rights, as have been established by numerous International Human Rights bodies.
We are calling upon you to immediately correct the false statement you made in our Dail yesterday…
A defiant self-pleasuring device for the lonely patriot.
Sex Siopa’s Shawna Scott writes:
I chose to commemorate 1916 the only way I know how…with an Irish flag dildo specially custom made for Sex Siopa by our friends at BS Atelier. Till the end of 2016, €5 from each sale will be donated to the Abortion Rights Campaign.
The future I want to see for Ireland is one in which the women of this country are trusted to make informed healthcare decisions for themselves, and our doctors are protected under the law. If you trust women, the 8th Amendment needs to be repealed.
Mark Tighe, in the Ireland edition of The Times, reports:
Enda Kenny raised the case of a child who has survived past his first birthday despite being born with a large part of his skull missing in response to a question about the eight amendment of the constitution.
A woman, a mother of two who has asked not to be named, told The Times that she confronted the taoiseach about Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws at Dublin airport on Friday, November 6, after the two had gone through security together.
She said Mr Kenny asked her what she wanted to replace the amendment with. He told the woman that he had been researching the issue of fatal foetal abnormalities and recently read about a child that had passed its first birthday even though he had a condition that meant most of his brain and skull were missing.
… A spokeswoman for Mr Kenny declined to comment on the discussion, but admitted that the taoiseach was carrying out research about abortion and fatal foetal abnormalities.
“…The taoiseach is thinking deeply and reading a range of material about the subject. As is well-known, the taoiseach seeks to engage with people, listen to their point of view and inform his thinking with the stories and issues they talk about with him.”