Chair of Renua Ireland and disability spokesperson Michael O’Dowd has vowed that their party will reform and replace the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) in light of the evidence they gave to the Oireachtas Committee on the 8th Amendment. ‘The Commission has lost all credibility especially in relation to dealing with people with a disability.’
The IHRECs call to abolish the 8th Amendment and replace it with light-touch regulation will result in the withdrawal of the most fundamental right of all, the right to life, for the most vulnerable in our society. A Human Rights Body which demands less human rights is a Human Rights Body which has lost its way.
A recent report from the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is relevant as are their comments on the UK policy on disability-selective abortion: Yet this was not brought to the attention of the Oireachtas Committee by the IHREC either in their direct evidence or in their back up documentation.
The report stated that the UN Committee were concerned about perceptions in UK society stigmatizing persons with disabilities as living a life of less value and allowing the termination of pregnancy at any stage on the basis of foetal impairment. The UN Committee recommended that the UK changed its abortion law accordingly so as not to ‘legalize selective abortions on ground of foetus deficiency.’
It is clear that Human Rights in Ireland has been hijacked by the pro-abortion movement but what is truly shocking is that the IHREC was silent on the recommendations of the Citizens Assembly to specifically single out aborting an unborn child who has a disability. The central core of the human rights concept is that we possess our rights not through power, privilege or special gift but by virtue of our mere humanity. All human beings possess the same value and dignity, endorsing the destruction of children in utero because they are in some way disabled is a flat-out contradiction of that principle and The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission silence on this issue is dismaying.
It is being proposed that the IHREC will have an oversight responsibility if and when the Convention on the Rights of People with a Disability is ratified by the Irish Government. Renua will oppose this. As long as the IHREC continues as presently configured no Irish person or political party can have any confidence in them or could consider granting them any oversight role in implementing the UN Convention. It must go