SIR – I read with interest that Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan of Waterford and Lismore told the ‘Crisis of Democracy in Ireland’ conference on October 31st that abortion is ‘not a medical treatment.’
A curious statement, given the long list of healthcare practitioners and Irish medical professional bodies that have given evidence about abortion in relation to women’s health to the Citizens’ Assembly and the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the 8th Amendment.
Writing from the perspective of an Irish woman living in London, it is doubly curious given the degree to which the Irish state has relied on NHS reproductive health services to meet the needs of over 158,000 women from the Republic of Ireland who have taken the boat or plane to England for abortions since 1983.
When Bishop Cullinan retracted his earlier comments on the safety of the HPV vaccine, he said ‘I should really leave that up to the doctors.’
That sentiment would appear equally applicable to the focus of contributions made by Bishop Cullinan and his colleagues in the church hierarchy to the ongoing discussion about the future of the 8th Amendment.
Is mise, le meas,