36 days to go….to Ireland’s referendum on abortion.
This is Paddy Connolly, the C.E.O. of Inclusion Ireland, an advocacy group for people with intellectual disabilities. Paddy explains they are joining the ‘Together for Yes’ campaign to repeal the 8th amendment, because ‘the right of a woman with a disability to decide when or how she is going to have her children’ is a critical right. Paddy further explains that a vote to repeal is making a statement that the rights of women with intellectual disability are equal to the rights of all others.
The majority of people with intellectual disability / I.D. have Down’s syndrome. In previous posts, we covered how Down’s syndrome Ireland, the advocacy group complained about the pro life campaign’s posters which showed an image of a child with Down’s and which stated that 9/10 babies diagnosed with Down’s are aborted in the U.K.. (also true in Germany) while nearly 100 % are aborted in Iceland with Denmark not far behind.
Paddy is being paid no doubt with tax-payer’s money to defend the people with intellectual disabilities in society. How the women he mentions might have got pregnant, by whom, their capacity and ability to consent and how the process that leads to a decision to abort plays out, is reduced by Paddy to a soundbite about equality.
Whereas Down Syndrome Ireland wouldn’t take either side of the debate, Inclusion Ireland has no such qualms. If repeal happens and Down syndrome babies are aborted at the rates in other countries, then the future of both Down Syndrome Ireland and Inclusion Ireland will be in jeopardy but that is not on their radar obviously.
There is something questionable about Mr. Connolly’s advocating for women with intellectual disability, many of whom depending on individual capacity to consent and who may not have fully understood what was happening when they got pregnant, being deemed in a single soundbite, able to consent to abortion and stating on their behalf, that this is their right. In his opinion or in whose opinion?
Some questions arise in determining how Paddy and Inclusion Ireland have reached this momentous decision to advocate for abortions for pregnant intellectually disabled women whom they represent….
Paddy would say of course, social workers, family doctors and those in intellectual health services would establish if abuse had taken place resulting in pregnancy. Without doubting this, the question is where and how do Inclusion Ireland draw the bar on what constitutes abuse of a woman or for that matter, man with intellectual disability. A study of Inclusion Ireland’s website throws light on their philosophy for tomorrow’s post….