In the Dáil yesterday evening Health Minister Leo Varadkar said that the Eighth Amendment to the Constitutional dealing with abortion is too “restrictive” and is having a “chilling” effect on doctors. He was commenting during a private members’ bill tabled by Clare Daly TD, which seeks to remove all remaining constitutional protection for the unborn.
Responding to Minister Varadkar’s remarks, Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro Life Campaign said: “Minister Varadkar is part of a government that introduced abortion up to birth based on a threat of suicide. He knows there is not a shred of medical evidence to back it up and that if anything the evidence points to the adverse mental health consequences of abortion for women in these situations.
“There is nothing in the new legislation to prevent two psychiatrists who view abortion as harmless from signing off on abortions, secure in the knowledge that they don’t have to meet any evidence-based test. Contrary to what Minister Varadkar now claims, there is absolutely nothing restrictive about such a law in practice.
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“What is truly chilling about the current abortion debate is the way the unborn child throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy has been totally written out of the discussion. There is nothing humane, liberal or compassionate about empty talk of protecting and respecting the unborn while bowing to the demands of those who want all remaining protection for the unborn child stripped out of our laws, which would be the effect of repealing the Eighth Amendment.”