Saturday 10 December 2016

John-Paul McCarthy: Ryanair and Boots expose pro-life faction's failings

The 1983 amendment rests on the same sand as the 'national territory' partisans' model

John-Paul McCarthy

Published 02/12/2012 | 05:00

The Minister for Justice eloquently characterised Irish abortion law last week as "deeply dysfunctional and obtuse".

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Alan Shatter's bracing analysis will remind some readers of another dysfunctional statement of "fundamental" constitutional scruple in our Republic, namely the "national territory" formulation in the old Articles 2 and 3.

There is some hope in this parallel because it suggests that the so-called "pro-life" faction are just as vulnerable as the "national territory" partisans. Both were able to point to solemn legal endorsements for their respective causes, but in both instances, their textual victories masked analytical malaise.

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