THE MINISTER FOR Health, Simon Harris, is forcefully encouraging the electorate to vote to repeal the 8th Amendment via his Twitter page. Consequently, the Minister is demonstrating that he empathises with women who need to be able to exercise the right to choose to terminate their pregnancy in Ireland.
In Ireland, legislation is under consideration that would permit reproductive cells from deceased individuals to be used by their spouses or partners to conceive children posthumously, according to media reports. The Irish legislature’s Joint Committee on Health discussed the bill once in January and again in February, a spokesperson for the legislature told Baptist Press. A final bill could be drafted in the coming months and put before parliament for debate.
Health Committee chairman Michael Harty said in a news release, “Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) is becoming increasingly important in Ireland and measures must be put in place to protect parents, donors, surrogates and crucially, the children born through AHR.”
A Galway City councillor has called on the Health Minister to consider introducing legislation giving surrogate mothers maternity leave so they are not treated any differently from natural or adoptive parents.
Fine Gael Cllr Padraig Conneely said he is aware of several couples in Galway who have become parents through a surrogacy arrangement abroad.
Surrogacy is a way for a childless couple or individual to have a child, with a surrogate mother carrying the child. The surrogate mother agrees to be artificially inseminated or to have an embryo transferred to her womb in order to become pregnant. She then carries the child to term with the intention of giving custody of the child to the “commissioning” person or couple.
A woman has spoken of her frustration at not being allowed to name her wife as a co-parent on their son’s birth certificate, despite legislation being in place for two years to enable same-sex parents to be named on such documents.
Sarah Stone-McDevitt told RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke that her three month-old child Lochlann’s rights have been infringed by the fact that she could only put her name on the birth certificate and not her wife Ger’s name too.
The use of frozen sperm, eggs or embryos after a person’s death by their partner will be permitted following a one-year grieving period under draft legislation, the Oireachtas health committee has heard.
The State’s chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan briefed the committee on the process of drafting the forthcoming Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) Bill on Wednesday.