LOUTH Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick has backed Independent TD Mattie McGrath's request that the Committee on the Eighth Amendment reject suicidal ideology as a grounds for termination.
Independent Senator Rónán Mullen has also supported the proposal. The following is a joint statement, word-for-word, issued by Louth Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick, TD Mattie McGrath and Senator Rónán Mullen outlining their position.
"As members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment, we have attempted at all times to seek a fair and thorough analysis of issues pertaining to the Citizens Assembly report and recommendations on the Eighth Amendment.
"Despite our efforts, and our reservations expressed from the outset, the Committee failed to do its job. A majority on the Committee only interested itself in the case being made against the Eighth Amendment, and felt no obligation to examine how the Eighth Amendment has protected the human life, human rights and human dignity of women and their unborn babies.
"The systemic imbalance in the functioning of the Committee precluded any fair assessment of the issues. An unacceptably flawed process has led inevitably to cruel and unjust recommendations.
"The votes taken by the Committee yesterday represent the natural outcome of this flawed process. The Committee is now working with its Secretariat in the preparation of a Report.
"We believe yesterday’s votes represented a tragic denial of the human rights of unborn children. We think the votes reflect badly on the Committee and on those who voted to recommend stripping unborn children of legal protection.
"We will not associate ourselves with any report basing itself on such an unacceptably discriminatory and exclusivist view of human rights and human dignity as these votes represent.
"No process and no report has the right to recommend the denial of anybody else’s human rights. To query our position by suggesting that the Report of the Committee is merely ‘indicative’ would be just a poor example of political spin.
"This Committee in no way subjected the recommendations of the Citizens Assembly to anything resembling critical scrutiny.
"The fact that it endorsed the vast majority of Citizens Assembly recommendations illustrates how little critical and independent thinking took place in the Committee.
"We will not be party to any report or recommendations that attempt to lend parliamentary legitimacy to the destruction of unborn human life and to interventions at odds with best medical practice in the protection of women and their unborn children, their life and their health.
"In the light of our decision we will issue our own joint assessment early next week." - Peter Fitzpatrick TD, Mattie McGrath TD, Senator Ronan Mullen.
The committee has three months to examine the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution and a final report is to be produced to both Houses of the Oireachtas by December 20.
A vote is due to be held in the Dáil and Seanad before a referendum is put before the people.