Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said the Guidelines published by the Department of Health to regulate access to abortion are mercilessly out of step with current trends in Abortion legislation. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the long awaited Guidelines to cover how the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 is to be implemented have been heavily criticised on both sides of the abortion debate:
“It is now official Department of Health policy to allow situations to exist where the life of a full term child a week from birth can be ended once the ‘good faith’ of psychiatrists is present. This is an abysmally vague clause that can mean whatever the consenting psychiatrist wants it to mean.
It also shows the utter futility of trying to put in place regulations which will prevent the opening of the floodgates, a reality that has been proven in almost every jurisdiction that abortion on so called ‘limited grounds’ has come into force.
What is also deeply distressing about this is the fact that far being progressive on this issue Ireland has shown itself completely out of step with attempts in the UK, the USA and Spain for example to push back the time limit within which an abortion can be accessed.
In our case however we have gone for the most extreme and wide ranging option in the sense that that are no time limits on when an abortion can now be accessed here. Already we see that some TD’s are calling this legislation and these Guidelines ‘narrow’ and are calling for the repeal of the 8th Amendment to the Constitution.
This clearly shows that liberalisation of the abortion agenda is far from complete and that is absolutely tragic in its own right.
I can see it in no other way but that in principle at least Fine Gael and Labour have handed the people a butcher’s charter by deliberately providing for the legal ending of a child’s life days from birth.
There is simply no point describing this as an exaggeration and I challenge anyone who opposes this to describe such a death as anything but savage.
As we see from the experience of the United States in particular, unfortunate, distressed and usually poor women will travel to jurisdictions where upper time limits are not a problem. How that can be prevented from happening here is certainly not clear to me,” concluded Deputy McGrath.