During the hearings being held by Oireachtas Committee on Abortion, Christine Zampas, lawyer for the U.S. Centre for Reproductive Rights – a wealthy and powerful abortion lobby group – tried to paint Ireland as an unsafe place for women because of Ireland’s ban on abortion. The usual false spin. She was challenged by Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick who told her that “Ireland is one of the safest places in the world for pregnant women according to the UN for the past 30 years.”
He pointed out that the U.K. and the U.S., where women had higher rates of maternal death than Ireland Zampas claimed that Irish women has a safety valve in travelling to Britain and that they were in fact travelling “all over Europe” to have abortions.
She is wrong.
Firstly, there is no evidence that women are travelling to Britain to avail of abortion to preserve their life or health.
On the contrary, an examination of the statistics released by the British Department of Health from 1992 to 2010 has shown that no abortions have been carried out on Irish women on the grounds of, in the words of the Abortion Act, to “save the life of the pregnant woman” or to “prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman”.
So the evidence does not back the claims being made in regard to abortion being required to preserve the life and health of women.
But evidence doesn’t seem important to the Oireachtas Committee, which has become a total farce.
Peter Fitzpatrick pressed Christine Zampas on Ireland’s record of maternal safety, insisting that the numbers showed that Ireland was safe.
Zampas had nothing to say for a minute. “In terms of maternal healthcare?” she then asked. “I’m talking about pregnant women who are looking to have an abortion.” Right then.
Mattie McGrath TD asked Christine Zampas if she had ever, as a human rights lawyer, raised the issue of botched abortions or children surviving abortions and being left to die.
No surprise there.
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