Ireland has been pressured by the EU to comform to politically correct views on abortion as a woman's right. The largest party, Fine Gael, made an election promise not to legalise abortion, but appears unable to deliver onn that promise.
A special Commission chaired by Mr Justice Seán Ryan has to report to the Irish Government within six months with options on how to implement the judgment of the European Court.
Special Council for the group will be Mary O'Toole who acted to establish abortion as a right in the infamous 1992 X case. The X case was used in an attempt to overturn Ireland's pro-life constitutional provisions and introduce abortion.
The government appointed Dr Deirdre Madden, a UCC law lecturer, to the group. Madden previously wrote that "there are very strong reasons for believing the embryo is not yet a person."
The group also includes general practitioner Ailish Ní Riain who has written guidelines describing unborn children as 'contents of the uterus' and insists that doctors should refer mothers for abortion.
Pro-life advocates in Ireland stress three points:
Abortion is never medically necessary. Expert testimony has already been given to a government committee on this issue, where leading Irish experts confirmed that interventions for conditions such as ectopic pregnancy and cancer were not considered abortion by medical professionals since the intention was never to harm the child.
The European Court ruling places Ireland under no obligation to legalise abortion since the Irish Constitution confirms that it is the people, being sovereign, who will decide such matters. Successive opinion polls show that Ireland's ban on abortion enjoys the support of the majority of the people.
According to the United Nations, Ireland, without recourse to abortion, is the safest place in the world for a mother to have a baby. The expert group should also recognise the undeniable scientific evidence which shows abortion produces negative mental outcomes for women.
The Composition of Expert Group on Abortion is as follows:
The Group will be chaired by Mr. Justice Seán Ryan and consist of thirteen other members;
Dr Peter Boylan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
Dr Mary Holohan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
Dr Imelda Ryan, Psychiatrist,
Dr Ailish Ni Riain, General Practitioner
Dr Mark Walsh, General Practitioner
Ms Christine O'Rourke, Office of the Attorney General
Ms Mary O'Toole, Senior Counsel
Ms Joanelle O'Cleirigh, Solicitor
Ms Denise Kirwin, Solicitor
Dr. Deirdre Madden, Medical Council
Dr Maura Pidgeon, An Bord Altranais
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health
Mr Bernard Carey, Assistant Secretary, Department of Health
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