Publish And Be Damned


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Independents 4 Change TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly

Further to Health Minister Simon Harris’ claim that a bill proposed by Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace – which would allow for abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and is identical to a bill previously proposed by TD Clare Daly – is unconstitutional

For years, we have heard a litany of Government ministers and TDs offer sympathy to the couples involved, wring their hands, and agree that “something” must be done. But they have done nothing. Doing nothing is simply not an option anymore.

Roughly two diagnoses of fatal foetal abnormality are made in Holles Street alone each week. The Liverpool Women’s Hospital sees between two and four Irish women every week, with a five-week waiting list. Each week’s delay is subjecting more and more people to cruel and inhumane treatment.

When the bill was moved last year, the Government relied on the advice of the Attorney General, which suggested that it was unconstitutional as a result of the Eighth Amendment. They are again seeking her opinion this time round.

I want to see that opinion published. It cannot be used as a fig leaf to cover the inaction of politicians.

The truth is that all it is is an opinion. Actual unconstitutionality can only be determined by the courts. So why not allow the bill to pass, get the President under Article 26 to refer it to the Supreme Court?

The Constitution allows 60 days to have the matter determined. If they agree it is compatible with the Constitution, then we can — at least in these circumstances — end the inhumane treatment of Irish women.

If they find it is not constitutional, then we will only be in the situation that we are in now.

Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace writing in today’s Irish Examiner.

We can, and we must, stop subjecting parents to this cruelty (Mick Wallace, Irish Examiner)

Related: Mick Wallace: Courts should decide fate of abortion bill (Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner)

Previously: What’s Your Advice?

Was It Really Unconstitutional?

Pic: Rollingnews

28 thoughts on “Publish And Be Damned

    1. Turgenev

      Oh, wait, not a referendum, a bill because referenda have been repeatedly refused. In fact, they should be renamed refuserenda.

  1. Daisy Chainsaw

    When Sesame Street is one of the most educational and beloved series on the planet, I’d take that as a compliment!

  2. Cup of tea anyone?

    whether you agree with their ideas or not, you have to admit they are really some of the only politicians actively working for change.

    Not what I first expected from Mick.

    1. Gorev Mahagut

      It’s almost as if that pair spend a lot of time thinking about what would be good for the country, and no time at all worrying what anyone thinks of them.


  3. The Real Jane

    Yeah, I think we all know there are problems with some of the independents – some of them are even women who have the temerity to appear in public places without any apparent ambition to be models, for god’s sake – but I’m very relieved they are there. Daly, Wallace, Coppinger. Who else is speaking for the women of this country?

  4. nellyb

    If DUP-ers with new Irish passports settled in the South (which they are entitled and welcome to, of course) – what do you think would happen with 08th? Ladies better tie them tubes and pronto, or contraception will be illegal again.

    1. bisted

      …hat tip the Rubberbandits who coined the term Schrödinger’s Catholics to describe DUP-ers who got Irish passports so they could be in the EU and not in the EU at the same time…

  5. Catherine McEntee

    @ nellyb
    Gentlemen had better hoof it off to get their vas deferens cut, tied or cauterized (burned or seared) – the ladies have been taking care of contraceptive matters for long enough.

  6. Michael

    If bill was to go to supreme Court and was to pass winning referendum on eight might be more difficult. FFA argument persuasive to many who are on the fence.
    I think it would fail but happy to let SC decide.
    But there could be unforeseen consequences.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      “unforseen consequences”? Like the “unforseen consequences” of the 8th amendment killing women, preventing travel for abortion (amended by referendum), preventing the provision of information about abortion (amended by referendum)?

      The 8th amendment has been a restrictive disaster from day one. Medical treatment should not be enshrined in the constitution.

      1. Michael

        Was my point Daisy. Want 8th removed. If FFA law found not to breach it then any referendum to remove it will be harder. That was the unforseen consequence.

      2. newsjustin

        But the right to life should. Otherwise you’d have people picking and choosing who had the right to life.

        1. Nigel

          You might have doctors performing medical procedures that would save women’s lives or ease their suffering, you mean. Which is to say that a decision has been made about who has the right to life and health, and it ain’t the women.

  7. newsjustin

    Does somebody want to try and explain how a bill that allows for the ending of the life of a very sick, terminally sick foetus might be consistent with the constitution as it currently stands.

    Because I can’t help thinking that people backing the bill know that it can’t be constitutional, wish it was, and just want to make a point by having the bill declared unconstitutional.

  8. Mulder

    Just wonder, if anyone has considered, electing Dustin the turkey, to the Dail.
    I mean one more, turkey is hardly going to make a difference.
    Or maybe real turkeys do make a difference.

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