Friday 21 July 2017

We are not a rogue state nor banana republic, so who is the UN to lecture us on our abortion law?

'The only body competent to determine what is or is not a human right is the 193 member states of the United Nations, acting through the UN General Assembly. By the same token, the only body with the right to demand changes to our laws or Constitution is the Irish electorate, acting through their elected representatives in the Oireachtas.' Stock Image
'The only body competent to determine what is or is not a human right is the 193 member states of the United Nations, acting through the UN General Assembly. By the same token, the only body with the right to demand changes to our laws or Constitution is the Irish electorate, acting through their elected representatives in the Oireachtas.' Stock Image

Barry Walsh

Hardly a week has gone by of late without one of a number of UN bodies castigating Ireland for its laws on abortion and seeming to compete with each other to do so in ever more indignant and inflammatory language.

Last week, the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) declared that Ireland's protection of the equal right to life of women and their unborn children amounted to "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" and instructed us to remove this provision from our Constitution. It also said the State should provide "financial assistance … for women who terminate pregnancies abroad".

Unfortunately, the Government has made no public attempt to defend Ireland against these extraordinary charges, let alone to query what legal basis or moral authority the UNHRC has to make them.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss