From my limited knowledge of judicial history I know how important Roe v Wade was and how it started a new era of freedom for people around the world. It in effect struck down anti-abortion laws in the US citing a woman has a right to privacy and to do what she wants with her own body. Of late though this is being seriously eroded.
Roe v Wade inspired the McGee case in Ireland which deemed unconstitutional the ban on the sale of constraceptives and it in turn sparked the long and unending abortion arguments in Ireland. Mary Robinson was the Barrister for Mrs McGee and later was part of a pro-choice group that campaigned for legislation change on abortion.
Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese later campaigned with David Norris to remove the ban on homosexuality which was denied by the Supreme Court which amongst other things cited that it was a public health concern and so his privacy and what he did in his own home was less important than curbing homosexuals and their health risk. This was of course at the time when people were dropping like flies (or so it seemed) with AIDS. (1983-1984). Norris eventually went to the Eurpean Court of Human Rights and won (1998) but it took until 1993 before the ban on homosexuality was removed.
Now tomorrow comes a much leaked report, the conclusions of which seemed to have been decided on before a consultation process was even finished. The report is about changing the constitution to recognize more rights for children and a better more inclusive definition of what a family is. Right now a family is a married man and woman and who have or could have kids. Anything else is not a family and therefore does not have the same rights. The definition of a family will not change say the leak ks and that was made clear months ago but it seems to deflect from this rigged result they are making it a Gay Marriage issue.
It is true that if they changed the definition it may have provided for same-sex marriage but that was with one suggested definition but it would mean that umarried fathers would have rights to their kids, it would mean kids with two mummies would have parents who are equal guardians of their future, it would have meant unmarried couples would be treated better in the eyes of the law. Instead the family definition remains unchanged and the issue is turned into an emotive issue about gay marriage. Ugly spin tactics to hide the pre-Roe attitude that still exists amongst some in Ireland. There’s more coverage by Suzy and Potato. I’d be very interested in Fiona’s take on it.