Listen: Independent Senator Ronan Mullen labels Dáil Committee on 8th amendment a 'sham process'

Independent Senator Ronan Mullen has again criticised the Oireachtas Committee on the 8th Amendment, saying the process “has been cynical from the start”.

Last night, the committee agreed that Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution should not be retained in full.

Fifteen out of 20 elected representatives voted in favour of non-retention, there were three against and two members abstained.

The decision ensures that, when its deliberations have concluded, the committee will be recommending that a referendum on the 8th amendment should be held.

Senator Mullen claimed thatt the Committee was designed to convince the public that a change in the law was necessary.

Ronan Mullen (centre, left) speaking outside the Dáil recently

'What put the tin hat on it yesterday, because it proved our point, the Committee without even waiting to hear the rest of the invitees over the coming weeks, including any other pro-life people which they said they were willing to hear, went ahead and voted to recommend the taking away of the human rights of a section of our community, unborn children,” he said on Today with Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning.

“The fact that they did that without even waiting to hear from all witnesses shows how cynical this process has been from the start.”

Fine Gael TD Kate O'Connell spoke of how abortion has affected every home in Ireland in some form and that it was time for change.

'We have a change in Irish society and it doesn't suit Senator Mullen... I think there is a recognition there that we cannot go on sending our sisters, our wives, our daughters across the water to deal with a medical issue,” she said.

“And if you look at the fact that there are 5,000 on average women a year going over to England and you multiply that up there are very few people in Irish society could say that there's not somebody in their lives who've taken pre-meds for abortion in a toilet in a pub in the UK or there's people that their daughters have secretly come home doubled over on a plane at night after abortion.'

Separately, more than 60% of trade union members surveyed believe abortion law should be liberalised.

A poll of over 3,000 members of unions like Unite and Mandate also found more than half of them are in favour of abortion on request, the figures released today revealed.

Lead researcher Dr Fiona Bloomer of Ulster University claimed that the study is the first of its kind to consider trade union member views on abortion issues in Ireland North and South.

“We believe this is also the first study to consider the specific matter of abortion as a workplace issue in the English speaking world,” she said.

“The study captured a range of views on abortion, and is reflective of the wider public debates on abortion.

“This is a very wide-ranging survey and report, but I would like to highlight two particular findings: 80% agreed women’s health should be the priority in any reform of the abortion law, and 597 respondents, or 20%, stated they had direct experience of abortion as a workplace issue.

“Not only does abortion as a workplace issue quantify support among trade union members for legal reform, but it also provides a valuable insight into the perspectives of those with direct experience of abortion as a workplace issue”.

KEYWORDS: abortion


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