The Workers’ Party has condemned the decision to grant sole ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital to the Sisters of Charity, saying it presents a ‘nightmare scenario’ to women who will depend on the service.
Cllr. Éilis Ryan (Workers’ Party, North Inner City) said:
The decision to grant ownership of the National Maternity Hospital makes a mockery of the supposed neutrality of the Citizens’ Assembly. Do any of us really believe that, if and when the 8th amendment of our constitution is repealed, any new legislation for abortion will be implemented fully in a hospital wholly owned by the Catholic Church?
Every week another story emerges of the extraordinary harm done to women by the church, with state complicity, in this country. What good is it to agree, finally, to remove archaic, church-written clauses from our constitution, if we hand over women’s healthcare to that same church?
Cllr. Ryan continued:
Clearly the state’s unwillingness to take healthcare and education out of the hands of the church goes far beyond debates about religion and secularism.
In reality, it is about a much deeper unwillingness to provide public services publicly. Whether it’s the church or a private, for profit hospital, for our right wing government any solution is better than a public solution.
The Workers’ Party councillor called for a full review of church involvement in healthcare, and a roadmap towards a fully secular system.
The church – and any private body – has no place in the provision of healthcare. Maternity care gets to the root of how we value women in this country, and historically has been where women have been worst treated by our state. Its time for us to change that record.