Saturday 16 December 2017

Ray Kinsella: No need to legalise abortion to protect life of the mother

'Best practice' guidelines would be better informed than legislation based on the flawed X Case.

Ray Kinsella

THE recent three-day hearings of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children on abortion, established by the Government and including representation from across the Dail, heard expert evidence from witnesses with authoritative clinical experience in obstetrics and psychiatry.

The key point for Government, political parties and for individual TDs is this: the weight of the evidence from the Joint Committee indicates that it is not now tenable for the Government to base its response to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgement in Applicant 'C' in the ABC judgement, on the 1992 Supreme Court decision in the X Case.

More positively, the hearings also identify an alternative, and far less risky, way forward, based not on legislation on the X Case but on guidelines which were directly aligned to 'best practice' maternal healthcare in Ireland.

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