Thursday, 20 January 2022
National Maternity Hospital: Motion [Private Members]
Ten years ago Savita Halappanavar died in an Irish hospital. Four years ago, the Irish people voted overwhelmingly for change. The Government, however, seems to be very slow to get the message. Half of Ireland's maternity hospitals still do not provide abortion services and just one in ten GPs provide abortion services, but the situation with this proposed new national maternity hospital takes the biscuit. Will the Minister clarify whether the press reports we have read are true? Is the Government seriously considering allowing three directors onto the board of our national maternity hospital from the St. Vincent's proxy organisation for the Religious Sisters of Charity? Is the Government seriously considering allowing the site to remain in the ownership of this proxy organisation? Is the Government aware of any country anywhere in the world where a Roman Catholic religious institution has allowed abortions, in vitrofertilisation, or sterilisation procedures to take place in a hospital sited on their lands? It is as though the Government has learned nothing. It is as though the Government has paid no attention to the changes that have taken place in our society, including those taking place before our very eyes this week.
I believe that we need a people power campaign on the national maternity hospital issue, because no faith can be placed in the Government given its track record on this issue in recent months and years. I will support this motion. I favour the compulsory acquisition of the land and nationalisation of the land rather than a lucrative compulsory purchase order. The motion is clear on the issue of the need for 100% State ownership, and on that basis I support the motion.