I have an opinion editorial in yesterday’s online edition of the Irish Times on the next steps following the Citizens Assembly recommendations on abortion law reform in ireland. The full piece is available here, and here is a taste of its main argument:
It has already been reported that some politicians consider the committee’s purpose to be to water down the assembly’s proposals. This is a curious way, indeed, to think about the role of a committee established to consider the views of an assembly the Oireachtas itself established, and it is hard to see it as anything other than contemptuous of the process and the assembly members.
So what is the committee for?
Of course, it is not slavishly bound by the recommendations of the assembly, but surely its purpose is to take the broad recommendations and consider how they might be given practical effect.
The assembly clearly called for the State to fundamentally rethink its legal approach to abortion. Surely, the role of the committee, rather than frustrate that demand, is to inform the Oireachtas of the options for doing so.
Otherwise, one might reasonably ask whether the Citizens Assembly was simply a stalling tactic all along.