Mick Wallace The #US and #EU are increasingly using #sanctions as a weapon against countries that don't bow to their financial i… https://t.co/qMbVI1XYfc
Mick Wallace How bad that the #EU of the so called 'European Values' has supported this Terrorism against the people of #Syriahttps://t.co/wRXMSubfYi
Mick Wallace Western Colonialism never really stopped, it just got a make over - It's now called 'Financial Imperialism'. Are we… https://t.co/KoMpQ69bBw
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: Would mean something for Irish people and the notion of 'Irish Neutrality' if Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs @simoncov

Dáil Diary no 11- Feb 9 2015

Will TD's Sympathy be matched by Votes on Tuesday...

Clare Daly's Amendment Bill was designed to address the devastating experience of women having to carry a foetus with a fatal foetal abnormality to full term, or leave the country for a termination, despite the foetus being unable to survive outside the womb. The vote on the Bill will take place on Tuesday – it appears at this stage that TD’s words of sympathy will not be matched by action, as the forthcoming General Election is likely to prove a greater priority for them at this stage. Here's my Dail contribution on the issue on Friday-

“The Bill concerns cases in which the foetus is not capable of being born alive and where it is agreed by two specialist medical practitioners in good faith that this is the case. The Minister has stated there sometimes is misdiagnosis and he of course is correct, as everybody makes mistakes. However, given today's technology, the likelihood of two medical practitioners making the same mistake is a lot less than many other areas in which decisions are made. I would say that at least 30% of the people in prison in Ireland are not guilty of what they are in there for and that these people make far fewer mistakes than most. Deputy Clare Daly made a strong argument that this Bill could be passed without interfering with the eighth amendment. I acknowledge there are people who think otherwise. However, had the Government the courage to pass the Bill, those people could appeal it to the Supreme Court, as is their right, and let us see what would be the result. If it turned out that they won, the position would be no worse than it is at present. As other Deputies have mentioned, the Minister's argument that the Government does not have an electoral mandate to challenge the eighth amendment is horseshit. The Government did not have a mandate to introduce the property tax and nor did it have a mandate to pay the unsecured bondholders. That is a pathetic argument on the part of the Minister and in fairness, the present Administration would not be the only government to do things for which it lacked a mandate. I suggest every government in the history of mankind has done this and the Minister should not give that argument to Members.

  This Bill seeks to end the barbaric practice in which the country abandons women and couples at a time when they most need help, effectively forcing a woman to choose between carrying to term a foetus that will never be born alive or fleeing the country like a fugitive for a termination carried out by strangers in a foreign place where she will have little or no support. This legislation also will help the medical professionals who must refuse, against their duty and instincts of care, to provide crucial medical help due to the lack of clarity regarding the legal implications in this respect and who, in addition, face the prospect of 14 years in prison. Ireland's inhumane abortion laws rightly have received criticism from human rights watchdogs around the world. In its fourth periodic report on Ireland carried out in 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Committee expressed its concern at the criminalisation of abortion under section 22 of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act and recommended explicitly that abortion legislation in this country be revised to provide for cases of fatal foetal abnormality. Ireland is one of just two European Union member states that do not allow for legal terminations in such cases. Citing recent cases against Poland at the European Court of Human Rights, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties stated that the treatment in Ireland of women with pregnancies, in which the foetus is diagnosed with a fatal abnormality, could amount to inhumane or degrading treatment, therefore violating Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

  Any discussion on termination in this country inevitably and unfortunately raises the issue of constitutionality. However, the specific and limited nature of the provision in Deputy Clare Daly's Bill is such that it would be compatible with the Constitution and that no change to the existing constitutional provisions would be needed. In this regard, I recall the debate in the Dáil in 2013 on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, during which the then Minister of State at the Department of Health, Deputy White, defined the protection in Article 40.3.3° of the Constitution as applying to unborn life "which is capable of being born alive". As the proposed Bill only deals with a foetus that is found to be incapable of being born alive, on the Minister's logic Article 40.3.3° would not apply and there would be no constitutional bar on the provision. I also refer to the Government's response to the case of D v. Ireland before the European Court of Human Rights. When pregnant with twins, which both tragically were found to be incompatible with life, this woman sought a termination in a jurisdiction outside Ireland. It is interesting to note that the Government, while arguing that the woman had not exhausted domestic remedies before taking her case to Strasbourg, held that there "might be an issue as to the extent to which the State was required to guarantee the right to life of a foetus which suffered from a legal genetic abnormality". Basically the Government was arguing that it was an open question as to whether the Constitution would have allowed a legal termination to have been carried out in this case.

  The Bill before Members today seeks to provide legal clarity in acknowledging the rights of women and medical practitioners under the Constitution. This lack of legal clarity came to the fore in the tragic case of PP v. HSE in December 2014 in which a clinically-dead woman on life support was forced to act as a human incubator for three weeks for a foetus which was at too early a stage in the gestation period to have a hope of survival outside the womb. Mr. Justice Kearns of the High Court found that keeping the foetus alive in these hopeless circumstances would constitute "a distressing exercise in futility for the unborn child". Integral to the judgment in this case was the consideration of whether the foetus had a genuine prospect of being born alive. The capacity for all people to see things as they see fit ,and as suits them, is powerful, but the level of hypocrisy around this debate in this Chamber is too bad.”

Mick Wallace.

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Namaleaks is a project that seeks to uncover possible injustice and poor practice related to NAMA (National Asset Management Agency) and financial institutions in Ireland.


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