Upon request of the Committee for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizen Rights and Constitutional Affairs has issued a series of documents it describes as “in-depth-studies”, dealing with “Gender Equality” in various countries.
According to these “studies”, the most important pre-condition for “gender equality” is the unrestricted legalization of abortion. Abortion is viewed exclusively from the perspective of the woman’s interest. The fact that each abortion costs the life of a child, which from the moment of conception is a separate human being with human rights and dignity, is conveniently passed over in silence.
The study on Gender Equality in Ireland is of particular importance, given that those who have commissioned it intend to use it as a “proof” for their claim that Ireland’s ban of abortion is outdated and must be changed.
The author of the pamphlet is Ursula Barry, a sociologist from University College Dublin, whose preferred research interests are “Women’s Studies”, “Feminist and egalitarian research”, and “Gender”. While abortion is an issue that raises important questions in the areas of law, human rights, and public health, Ms. Barry has no expertise in any of these areas. Instead, googling her name on the internet one discovers that she is referred to as a “long-time activist” on abortion, or a “feminist researcher and activist“, which makes her opinions on abortion appear predictable and ideological.
It is therefore not surprising to see that her paper conveniently omits the fact that, thanks to restrictive abortion laws, Ireland has one of the lowest rates of maternal deaths. Instead, she quotes the polemical statement of another pro-abortion activist who claims that Ireland’s laws, because they protect the life of a child even if it has been conceived as a result of a rape, treat women as “a vessel and nothing more”. This is the intellectual level on which important rights such as the right to life are discussed in this paper.
It is regrettable that the European Parliament is routinely using taxpayers’ money to commission the production of such pamphlets. It is unclear whether there has been a call for tenders for this “study”, and which selection and award criteria have been used for it. In any case, readers should be aware that the fact that a “study” has been commissioned by the European Parliament’s FEMM Committee is per se not sufficient to lend it even the lowest degree of scientific credibility.