The report on the 8th Committee was launched before Christmas in Leinster House. The FG government formed the committee to outsource the decision on abortion. The matter was decided upon by the political establishment and the grossly imbalanced Committee was used to reverse engineer the result.
With the 8th Committee the first ingredient was to select skewed membership. Media prominent but support light Trotskyites such as Ruth Coppinger, Bríd Smith and Clare Daly were buttressed by ex Worker’s Party member Catherine Murphy and independent Seanadóir Lynn Ruane. Add to these arch pro-choicers the remnants of the Labour Party Jan O Sullivan.
3 Sinn Féin members made it on to the Committee. Sinn Féin has moved from a largely pro-life party 4 years ago to now seeking to introduce the British abortion model into Ireland. While many of its membership and support base are still prolife, prolife TDs and Seanadóirí have been largely isolated or silenced on the issue.
Here is the interesting bit Fianna Fáil voted overwhelmingly at Ard Fheis to protect the Right to Life Amendment yet a pro-choice Mícheál Martin with 5 picks selected 3 extreme pro-choice reps and two silent types. Given that at least 30 FF TDs would be considered strongly pro-life this was a dextrous sleight of hand even for Mícheál Martin.
Fine Gael with 6 picks selected 5 pro-choice reps and only 1 pro-lifer. This again was massively unrepresentative even for a party that is increasingly South Dublin based. Fine Gael is increasingly a liberal party economically and socially. Kate O’Connell and Leo Varadkar embody the trumping of Tory type individualism over the traditional social justice wing of the party.
Finally 2 independent prolife TDs were selected. The two brave TDs battled their best despite having their character trashed on social media and in the Irish Times day in and day out.
8th Committee Membership Pro-choice reps selected- 17, Pro Life reps selected 5 “Witnesses”
Many people still can’t believe the blatant imbalance in the ‘witnesses list’ to the committee. Surely a 6 to 1 pro-choice witness list would make even Leo Varadkar blush. But no. Shockingly it was true. When pulled on the imbalance the establishment simply brazened it out until the media cycle moved quickly on. A quick look at some of the so called “independent” witnesses is also mind bogglin
- The British Pregnancy Advisory Service is the main abortion chain on Britain.
- The Guttmacher Institute, an associate of Planned Parenthood, the main abortion chain in the US
- Center for Reproductive Rights
- Irish Family Planning Association
8th Committee Membership Pro-choice witnesses selected- 24, Pro Life witnesses selected 4
The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an article on the abortion campaign. It stated that
“While the Irish public is wrestling with the issue, the Irish media is not. National media outlets have devoted themselves almost exclusively to the pro-repeal position”.
There is not a single pro-life media outlet in Ireland and organisations such as the Irish Times and The Journal are so heavily campaigning for the Right to Life Amendment to be removed its been said that they should register with the Standards in Public Office as campaign groups.
3 years of forensic media research show that 91% of the Irish Times article have a pro-abortion bias. Indeed the NUJ itself have attended Marches in support of Abortion in this state and most journalists do not even pretend to be objective on the issue.
This tactic makes the majority of people in Ireland who are Prolife think that they are in fact a minority. It has a chilling effect and reduces their likelihood to articulate their views honestly in public.
Another interesting tactic of the media is to under report Prolife politicians and to elevate Prochoice TDs. They scrutinise every word a Prolife politician states and ignore the mistakes that a pro-abortion politician makes.
Matty McGrath’s words ‘until the fat lady signs’ which had no intent were all over the media but Kate O Connell’s statement about parents who adopt saying “are we going into a ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ situation here, where women in crisis pregnancies will be detained, forced to become parents, and used as a source of supply of babies to childless people” was largely ignored.
A FF TD recently stated that despite being prolife they was “keeping their head down as they were worried that the Irish Times would take the head off them”.
The vast majority of Irish Media are campaigning for abortion. For politicians the media is the oxygen they need to live and grow. They temper their views accordingly. Bias kills fair and honest debate.
A number of years ago the chattering class were full of the promise of an never ending property spiral. They were aided and abetted by a self interested media and political class. This group think cost this state dearly. €7.8 billion annually is paid on debt interest alone while housing and health crumble.
Right now before our eyes the same group think is happening in the same political and media bubbles. Its time we the people stand up for the 8th amendment before we reach the brink again.Share