Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Irish media and the A,B and C case

There has been a lot of media talk, and a lot of media writing, about the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) judgement in the ABC v. Ireland case recently.
Most of the media coverage has been ‘over the top’, and a great part of the media coverage has totally misrepresented both the situation with regard to abortion in Ireland and the A,B and C judgement.

It is refreshing, therefore, to read this letter from a young mother of four.   The letter appeared in the Irish Times on 22 December, and it helps to put a correct perspective on the whole matter.

‘Madam – I fail to see what all the fuss over the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling is about, especially on the part of pro-abortion campaigners.  While it does indeed call for legislation on abortion on the basis of the 1992 X-case, in the real world the X case does not allow for abortion.
‘The ruling in X determined that a pregnant woman, (or child) was entitled to an abortion if there was an imminent threat to her life and that could only be avoided by abortion.  As medical and psychiatric evidence points out, there is never any medical necessity for abortion.
‘There may be cases where pregnancies need to be terminated early, (as in my case when I suffered from severe pre-eclampsia) but in those instances when a very pre-mature baby is delivered, every effort should be made to save the baby’s life, even if in the end it proves fruitless.  Similarly, no pregnant woman is denied life-saving treatment, even if as a consequence the baby dies.
‘Pro-abortion campaigners are being dangerously disingenuous by trying to convince us that abortion is a cure for cancer, depression or any other ill.  Yours, etc. …’

It might be interesting to note that the then Master of the Rotunda Maternity Hospital in Dublin at the time of the X case, when questioned during the course of the Government hearings on abortion in 2000 about the young girl at the centre of the case, replied that he felt that 

‘the evidence presented from the suicide point of view was not challenged, for whatever reason.  In other words it was not subject to scrutiny by a second or indeed a third opinion.’   At the time, he said, he had been asked, ‘Is this girl depressed?  I said, “No, she is upset, she is tearful but so would I be if I was 14 and I was in London waiting to have a termination  …”’.    

It is notable, too, that the clinical psychologist who was involved at the time when the girl was deemed to be suicidal replied as follows about the case when he was questioned at the 2000 hearings: ‘ …   I believed that was not something that was going to be dug out later.’     I wonder why.