Tuesday 28 February 2017

'Fatal foetal abnormality' is a loaded and misleading term

David Quinn

David Quinn

TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly are behind a proposed bill that would allow for abortion in cases of ‘fatal foetal abnormality’ Photo: Tom Burke
TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly are behind a proposed bill that would allow for abortion in cases of ‘fatal foetal abnormality’ Photo: Tom Burke

A few days ago, a UN committee issued a report condemning Britain's spending cutbacks for allegedly violating its human rights obligations. Granted, the British body politic has a lot on its mind at present, but even if Brexit was not dominating the agenda, there is no way the British government would react to this report with anything other than mild disdain at best.

Last month, when the UN Committee on Human Rights declared that we had violated the human rights of a woman who could not obtain an abortion here when told her unborn child was suffering from a so-called "fatal foetal abnormality", our Government treated the declaration with the utmost seriousness.

Yet, when that same committee back in 2001 found that Ireland had violated the rights of one Joseph Kavanagh because he was tried before a non-jury court, we basically told the committee to take a hike.

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