Voices for Choice
OPINION - Nuala O'Faolain
'Patronising women and restating a belief about what God wants women to do is not a debate'
HOLLOW laughter. That's the best I can do in response to the plea last week, from the Roman Catholic archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, that there should be a national debate on the subject of embryos.
You'll have noticed, unless you've been living on the beach, that a former couple have turned to the courts to decide the fate of the embryos they had frozen when, as loving partners, they underwent fertility treatment.
They've already had a child from that treatment and now the former wife wants the embryos implanted in herself in the hope of having another. To that end her lawyers argue that the embryos may not be destroyed because they are the unborn who our constitution is supposed to protect. The husband's lawyers argue that an embryo is not an unborn until it could be born, ie, until it is implanted in the womb; that outside the womb it can't turn into a baby, and that therefore the embryos can be destroyed.
OPINION - ANTENATAL DIAGNOSIS AND HUMAN RIGHTS - Barbara Hewson
According to evidence given to the All-Party Oireachtas Committee in 2000, Ireland has the second highest risk of neural tube defects in the world. This is not a record of which any country can be proud. But the European Court of Human Rights’ recent ruling in D v Ireland suggests that Ireland may now have to provide termination of pregnancy to women diagnosed with lethal fetal anomaly. The 41-page decision, published on 5 July, has major implications for pregnant women and maternity hospitals, as well as for the media.
OPINION - THE 8TH AMENDMENT 1983 - Cathleen O'Neill
The 8th amendment also known as 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution was voted on in 1983 at the behest of the anti-choice movement and equated the life of a woman to equality with that of a fertilised egg.
What the 8th amendment meant to me.... full colour anti-abortion leaflets, expensive glossy productions being handed to children in schools that were tumbling down with neglect.
A copy of the 'foetus road show' video being handed to my 10 year old daughter by a 'concerned' neighbour with the instruction that she should then talk to me about it. Stones being thrown at my window because I had pro-choice leaflets there.