The recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on the provision of abortion in this jurisdiction, while regrettable, are not surprising. Neither are they representative. The Assembly, selected by random lottery, was neither constituted nor composed democratically and its members have no obligation to the electorate.
The Government, in deploying the manoeuvre of establishing an Assembly, doubtless anticipated the outcome and will seek to placate both sides of the argument by proposing, not the radical liberalisation recommended by the Assembly, but something a little short of it.
The 8th amendment provides an excellent constitutional framework for ensuring equality for all our patients before the law. Doctors for Life will continue to defend the right to life of every human being in the womb, regardless of disability or prognosis. We would appeal to all health care professionals to consider the implications for their patients, both born and unborn, if it were to be legally permissible in this country to directly end the life of a person because they require extra care or because they are terminally ill or simply inconvenient.
Doctors for life invites medical practitioners and allied health care professionals to stand together to protect the lives and health of both patients in pregnancy (the mother and her unborn child) and to protect the right to practice ethical evidence-based medicine.
The Citizens’ Assembly has shown that democracy can be undermined by means other than physical violence. We would like to encourage doctors and all those involved in person-centred health care to actively engage with the democratic process and to advocate for children in the womb over the months ahead.