Independent TD Mattie McGrath has described the Guidelines governing the implementation of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2014 as a document that seeks to minimise the cruel and tortuous destruction of unborn human life. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Department of Health published the document today and which outlines clearly for the first time the referral pathways that must be pursued for a woman seeking an abortion under the Act:
“These Guidelines make for absolutely horrific reading. For the first time we have a document from the Department of Health which spells out in all in its hypocritical clarity the kind of perverse and disjointed logic that has prevailed in this debate.
I would make particular reference to elements of the Guidelines which deal with the issue of gestational age and the lack of time limits during which an abortion must be carried out.
Section 6.4 of the Guidelines which speaks about this matter allows for the permissible destruction of an unborn child’s life right up to birth. Yet in the next sentence it speaks about preserving that life and the dignity of the unborn.
Let us be honest and at least admit that this is a completely incoherent position and points to the fractured logic at the heart of this whole debate. The guidelines also speak about the referral pathways for a woman presenting with suicidal intent.
Again, what we have here is the inserting of non-evidenced based medicine into a Department of Health document. That in itself demonstrates that this whole debate has been about a political and not a medical or psychological agenda.
If Fine Gael or Labour believes that these Guidelines will bestow some sort of respectability to this nightmare scenario then they are sorely mistaken. It will certainly not settle the debate and in fact I now believe that these Guidelines will only serve to reignite the calls for the absolute protection of the 8th Amendment; given that the Department of Health and this farce of a Government have clearly abdicated their duty to protect innocent human life by allowing for its destruction right up until birth,” concluded Deputy McGrath.