Rev Patrick Burke, centre, Anglican Rector Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny
Further to calls by the UN for Ireland to hold an abortion referendum.
Church of Ireland Rector Patrick Burke writes:
So the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is saying Ireland “must” hold a referendum on abortion. And since they want us to to repeal the Eighth Amendment to address the committee’s concern at our “highly restrictive legislation on abortion,” presumably that means they are saying we “must” vote Yes as well. Who knew the UN had so much power?
But wait! Their “must” is contained in a list of recommendations in a report; and a recommendation is something that can just as easily be rejected as accepted. So really this is less a “must” than a “this is what we think you should do” said in a hectoring tone accompanied by a frowning look and lot of finger-wagging.
That makes a lot more sense. After all, the last time I looked, the UN didn’t have the authority to dictate to member states how they manage their internal affairs; and certainly none of its multitude of committees doesn’t have that power. Therefore, the only thing we “must” do with this report and its recommendations is politely nod and smile, and then do as we ourselves see fit…
There you go now.