30
Apr
13

My letter in Irish Examiner

http://www.irishexaminer.com/opinion/letters/the-discussion-should-be-whose-decision-229832.html

The discussion should be: Whose decision?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The discussion on abortion reform has had two important developments.

First, there was the debacle over the number of medical practitioners required to approve an abortion for suicidal women.

It was leaked that it would be six, on one panel. This was denied by Minister Reilly, but then confirmed as 3 + 3 when the draft heads of the bill were leaked.

This has been rightly derided as unworkable. It would effectively prevent suicidal women from getting an abortion. The Government is not concerned about saving women’s lives.

This is related to the second development. The College of Psychiatry in Ireland said that their members would not be the country’s “social police”.

Their position has pointed to a deeper reality. Rather than debate the number of medical practitioners required to approve an abortion, we should be discussing whether anyone has the right to make this difficult decision for women, or whether it should be their own decision — as it is for any other medical procedure.

This is the issue of the basic human right of women to have control over their own bodies and reproductive processes.

Alan Gibson
Cobh
Co Cork

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