Atheist Ireland asks Citizens Assembly to invite Termination For Medical Reasons

Ashling O’Brien of Atheist Ireland will be addressing the Citizens Assembly on 5th March on the question of abortion. Yesterday some people questioned why the Assembly did not invite Termination For Medical Reasons along with the seventeen representative and advocacy groups that it did invite.

We agree that the Assembly should have also invited TFMR, who we support and work alongside in campaigning for the Repeal of the 8th Amendment, and for the right of pregnant women to choose abortion based on their individual conscience and medical advice.

We have asked the Assembly to invite TFMR into whichever discussion category they are inviting Parents for Choice, Women Hurt and Every Life Counts, assuming that these are all in the same category of describing personal experiences.

Atheist Ireland will also incorporate into our own presentation some arguments supporting Termination For Medical Reasons.

We would like to thank TFMR for supporting us yesterday in the face of irrational attacks from a small number of people on Twitter, some of whom already had unrelated political hostility towards Atheist Ireland, who wanted us to decline the Assembly’s invitation.

Pro-choice groups working together effectively

The Assembly received submissions from 117 representative and advocacy groups. From these, the Assembly and its chairperson, Ms Justice Laffoy, have selected a balanced range of groups who support or oppose the right to choose abortion to make presentations and answer questions on 5th March.

As members of the Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment, Atheist Ireland works positively alongside our friends and colleagues in the other pro-choice groups. We always defer to the most relevant group on particular issues, whether in Ireland or at the UN.

Ashling O’Brien is working this week with the other pro-choice groups who the Assembly has invited, in order to maximise the effectiveness of our joint presentations. Atheist Ireland’s most relevant area of input is the issue of secularism and secular conscience.

The Assembly will be dividing the seventeen invited groups into five categories of discussion. We assume that we are in the category for religious and secular perspectives, we assume alongside the Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland and the Iona Institute. We will know the details later this week.

You can read our written submission to the assembly here.

Atheist Ireland