Official Statement from Fianna Fáil to the Pro Life Campaign
Dr Joseph McCarroll
Pro Life Campaign
104 Lower Baggot Street
17th February 2011
Dear Dr McCarroll,
Thank you for your letter dated 11th February 2011. I note that you are reviewing the views of the different political parties on abortion and the protection of embryos on Tuesday next.
I set out my response our position as below:
Fianna Fáil’s position on abortion remains unchanged and will maintain Ireland’s ban on abortion. [Couldn't be clearer?]
Fianna Fáil will uphold the right of the Irish people, and the Irish people alone, to decide on Ireland’s abortion laws. [i.e. not the ECHR] We will oppose moves to legalise abortion in Ireland. Our track record in this regard is clear.
Fianna Fáil Taoisigh negotiated legally binding guarantees, which were attached to the Treaties of Maastrict and Lisbon, ensuring that nothing in those reaties, or in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, affects the operation in Ireland of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution.
The Government mounted a robust defence of Ireland’s abortion laws before the European Court of Human Rights in A, B and C vs. Ireland. The Court found that the Irish Constitution is not incompatible with the ECHR, and that States enjoy a margin of appreciation regarding protecting the right to life of the unborn, thereby affirming the Government’s view that it is the Irish people who have the right to decide on abortion.
Fianna Fáil will ensure that any new regime put in place in respect for assisted human reproduction fully respects the right to life of the unborn. [So presumably the definition of "unborn" must include embryos outside the womb which is excluded in this legislation.] In this context, Fianna Fáil in Government has insisted that all EU research funding programmes respect Ireland’s national position in relation to embryo research through the ethical subsidiarity clause.
We have ensured that no embryo research in Ireland has been or can be funded by the EU. In the negotiations on the 7th EU Framework Research Programme, Ireland played an influential part in crafting a compromise whereby the Commission undertook not to submit proposals for research activities that destroy human embryos.
I can also confirm that we are opposed to research on embryos and will not support moves to legalise this in Ireland. [Again, presumes the definition of "unborn" covers these embryos.]
Micheál Martin TD
Leader Fianna Fáil