Pro-life speakers outnumbered six-to-one at Oireachtas hearings

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution is hearing from experts and witnesses. A disproportionate number of them favour repealing the pro-life amendment. In fact, the pro-repeal witnesses outnumber pro-retain witnesses by a massive six-to-one. It is any wonder that Mattie McGrath TD, and Senator Ronan Mullen are considering resigning from the Committee?


Here is a list of witnesses who favour repeal of the 8th amendment:

Abigail Aiken, has co-authored some articles with members of Women on Web, the main provider of abortion pills on-line.

Leah Hoctor, the director of the European programme of the Centre for Reproductive Rights, a wealthy US abortion lobby.

Christina Zampas, has worked as adviser for pro-abortion organisations such as the Center for Reproductive Rights and Amnesty International.

Caitriona Henchion, director of the Irish Family Planning Association, one of the strongest campaigners for abortion in Ireland.

Gerry Edwards, the chairperson of TMRI (Termination for Medical Reasons Ireland).

Gilda Sedgh, works for the Guttmacher Institute, historically associated with Planned Parenthood, which is the main abortion provider in the USA.

Patricia Lohr, works for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the main abortion provider in the UK.

Peter Thompson, a doctor who performs in the UK.

(It is interesting to note that these last three speakers were also invited at the Citizens’ Assembly. This choice attracted much criticism at the time.  The Joint Committee could have invited many other experts in the area to get a larger range of opinion but, instead, it is just duplicating the work already done by the Citizens’ Assembly.)

Emily Logan and Siobhan Mullally, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

Rhona Mahony, Master of the National Maternity Hospital.

Fergal Malone,  Master of the Rotunda Hospital.

Brendan O’Shea, head of the Irish College of General Practitioners.

Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, President of the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Ronald Johnson, World Health Organisation.

Peter Boylan, former Master of the National Maternity Hospital.

Fiona de Londras, Chair of Global Legal Studies, University of Birmingham.

Ruth Fletcher, Lecturer in Medical Law, Queen Mary University, London.

Veronica O’Keane,  Doctors for Choice Ireland.


The following speakers favour retention of the 8th amendment.

Professor William Binchy, Fellow Emeritus in Law, Trinity College Dublin.

Professor Patricia Casey, Professor of Psychiatry at University College Dublin.

Liz McDermott, One Day More.