Hanafin Slams Assembly Over Lack of Balance
Former Senator Des Hanafin has slammed the Citizens’ Assembly for bias as it prepares to make recommendations on the future of the 8th Amendment. The prominent pro-lifer described the Assembly as “a charade with a foregone conclusion”. Nothing in the way the Assembly has been conducted to date, he argued, suggests that anything other than the government’s preferred outcome will be countenanced.
Although about 70 per cent of the submissions the Assembly received from the public were pro-life in nature and advocated the retention of the 8th Amendment, Mr Hanafin pointed out that this was not reflected in “the vast majority of people invited to address it.”
“The lack of balance,” he wrote, “was most blatantly evident at the February session when the Assembly heard from ‘experts’ from the US-based Guttmacher Institute and the UK-based BPAS.”
“The interest of wealthy foreign organisations in overturning the amendment is not confined to BPAS and the Guttmacher Institute. The Abortion Rights Campaign was obliged to return a grant it received from US billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundation to campaign against the amendment.”
The article acknowledges Family & Life’s earlier challenge to the Assembly over its lack of balance and its choice of representatives of the abortion industry to address it. On that occasion, Justice Laffoy seemed to take offence and defended the BPAS and Guttmacher representatives as “experts in their respective fields”.
“That may be so,” Hanafin concedes, “but the fact remains they are ‘experts’ who come from a perspective that completely ignores the right to life of the unborn, something the Assembly also appears consistently to have ignored.”
“The findings of the unelected and unrepresentative assembly will no doubt provide a framework for those in politics of all parties who lack courage and conviction. This is what it is designed to do.”
Irish Independent. April 20.