January 20, 2012
Update: Fourth member of expert group has history of support for abortion

The Life Institute has reported that a fourth member of the 'expert group' on abortion has a connection with moves to undermine the right to life of unborn children.

The expert committee of fourteen members is to advise the government on the European Court ruling on the ABC case which was sponsored by Planned Parenthood with the intention of smashing Ireland's abortion laws.

As reported earlier in the week, three other members of group have been linked to abortion advocacy and/or to a drive to legalise embryo research.

Now investigations show that Dr Peter Boylan, an obstetrician and gynaecologist appointed to the committee, signed a public statement in 2002 which opposed outlawing abortion on the grounds of suicide.

The Life Institute and other pro-life groups had previously said that it had "serious concerns"' with an expert group on abortion established by the Irish government following the revelations.

Ms Uí Bhriain said that the largest party in government, Fine Gael, had made an election promise not to legalise abortion, and that they could not now rely on a quango to overturn that promise.

"Unfortunately, we've seen that committees like this have been used in the past to carry out a pre-ordained anti-life agenda, such as the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction which was stacked 20:1 against the right-to-life," said the Life Institute spokeswoman. "We're writing to an Taoiseach, Enda Kenny to tell him that there are three key facts that the government's expert group on abortion cannot ignore. We also point out that at least four of the appointments give rise to serious concerns about the independence and impartiality of the expert group". "

She said the three key facts that the expert group on abortion could not ignore were:

  1. Abortion is never medically necessary. Expert testimony has already been given to a government committee on this issue, where leading Irish experts confirmed that interventions for conditions such as ectopic pregnancy and cancer were not considered abortion by medical professionals since the intention was never to harm the child.
  2. The European Court ruling places Ireland under no obligation to legalise abortion since the Irish Constitution confirms that it is the people, being sovereign, who will decide such matters. Successive opinion polls show that Ireland's ban on abortion enjoys the support of the majority of the people.
  3. According to the United Nations, Ireland, without recourse to abortion, is the safest place in the world for a mother to have a baby. The expert group should also recognise the undeniable scientific evidence which shows abortion produces negative mental outcomes for women.

Notes to the Reader

The Expert Group will be chaired by Mr Justice Seán Ryan and has to report back to Government within six months with options on how to implement the judgment of the European Court.

The Composition of Expert Group on Abortion is as follows;

  • The Group will be chaired by Mr. Justice Seán Ryan and consist of thirteen other members;
  • Dr Peter Boylan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
  • Dr Mary Holohan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
  • Dr Imelda Ryan, Psychiatrist,
  • Dr Ailish Ni Riain, General Practitioner
  • Dr Mark Walsh, General Practitioner
  • Ms Christine O'Rourke, Office of the Attorney General
  • Ms Mary O'Toole, Senior Counsel
  • Ms Joanelle O'Cleirigh, Solicitor
  • Ms Denise Kirwin, Solicitor
  • Dr. Deirdre Madden, Medical Council
  • Dr Maura Pidgeon, An Bord Altranais
  • Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health
  • Mr Bernard Carey, Assistant Secretary, Department of Health



      Posted by: Life Institute
      Comments on this Article:
      Helen O'C
      on Jan 21, 2012
      Why are the media ignoring these revelations? They are so agenda-driven. A complete joke.
      S de Róiste
      on Jan 24, 2012
      Wondering if an online petition is planned? It would great to get behind Life Insititue's letter's to an Taoiseach etc. I read today of some of last years major victories around the world - relating to various justice issues - gained by largescale online petitions