A United Nation (UN) committee’s latest recommendation to remove protection for the unborn child in Ireland is damaging the credibility of the UN as a defender of human rights, according to the Pro Life Campaign.
The Irish campaign group complained that it is “bordering on
ridiculous” that some UN bodies issue such frequent condemnations of
Ireland’s pro life Eighth Amendment.
“Today’s report from the UN’s CEDAW committee in effect calls for the
overturning of all meaningful protections for the unborn child under
the Eighth Amendment,” said Cora Sherlock , Pro Life Campaign, in
response to the UN report.
“The purpose of the CEDAW committee is to highlight and seek to
eliminate discrimination. Abortion, however, is the ultimate
discrimination as it targets the most vulnerable in society, namely
unborn babies. The CEDAW committee has no authority to decide who should
live and who should die,” she said.
She accused UN committees like the UN Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) of losing “all credibility as
defenders of authentic human rights” and in recent years becoming
“cheerleaders” for the abortion movement.
The CEDAW published its findings on several countries including
Ireland following its 13 February to 3 March 2017 session in Geneva.
Irish government representatives made presentations to the Committee
during that time.
The findings cover how each State is doing on women’s rights, and
include positive developments, main areas of concern, and
recommendations for action. The Committee will next meet from 3 to 21
July in Geneva to review eight more countries.
In its concluding observations on the combined sixth and seventh
periodic reports on Ireland the Committee covers a wide range of topics,
including abortion and Magdalene Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes, and
On abortion, it states: “The Committee is concerned that access to
abortion in the State [Ireland] is restricted to cases where there is a
real and substantial risk to the life of the pregnant woman under the
Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 …”
The Committee recommends that the State (Ireland) “Repeal the
Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 in order to legalise the
termination of pregnancy at least in cases of rape, incest, risk to the
physical or mental health or life of the pregnant woman and severe
impairment of the foetus, and de-criminalise abortion in all other
calls for more awareness raising programmes on health
matters, including contraceptives.
It also calls for measures to ensure
free access to sexual and reproductive health information and education
and protection for counsellors and other healthcare providers from
criminal investigation and prosecution.
The Committee recognises the efforts by the Irish state to resolve
the issue of historical abuses regarding the Magdalene Laundries and
Mother and Baby Homes, but regrets the fact that Ireland has failed to
establish an independent investigation into all allegations of abuse,
ill-treatment or neglect of women and children in the laundries and
homes in order to establish the role of the state and the Church.
The committee urges the Irish state to set up such investigations so
that prosecutions can take place, and that remedies such as
compensation, apologies, restitution and rehabilitative services also be
put in place.
There was a welcome by the committee for new Irish laws on paternity
leave, gender recognition, and human trafficking amongst other laws and
For the UN report see: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21300&LangID=E.