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Saturday 16 December 2017

Ronan Mullen and Mattie McGrath claim abortion committee is 'skewed and unfair'

Mattie McGrath Photo: Arthur Carron
Mattie McGrath Photo: Arthur Carron

Shona Murray

Two members of the Oireachtas Committee on Abortion say they are considering their positions because of the “skewed” nature of the experts witnesses called to give presentations.

Senator Ronan Mullen (IND) and Mattie McGrath (IND) TD for Tipperary say in particular they are protesting the forthcoming presence of the New York based Centre for Reproductive Rights who Mr Mullen referred to as a pro-choice an advocacy group.”

“It’s nothing short of a disgrace that the multi-million dollar US centre for reproductive rights  can get called up”, to the Oireachtas committee, Senator Ronan told the press and anti-abortion protestors outside the Dail this afternoon.

Each member of the committee agrees and signs-off on any experts that are forthcoming, but Mr Mullen said he has only just been made aware that the Centre for Reproductive Rights has been “actively” fundraising to change the laws of the country and be presented as impartial.

He added that The Citizens Assembly – the consultation process which directed that a referendum on repealing the 8th Amendment be put to the public - never considered “for a second, the positive and life-saving impact” of the legislation and “now the Oireachtas is shirking its responsibility too.”

Senator Catherine Noone, the chair of the committee refuted Mr Mullen’s remarks, saying “every member was entitled to suggest experts” the only stipulation being “they had to be was experts.”

Ms. Noone implored both Mattie McGrath and Senator Ronan to rejoin the committee and get back to its important work.

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