A number of those contesting the Seanad panels have highlighted the issue of stem cell research and ethics as a roundabout way to get to the much thornier issue of abortion and to signal to an audience their pro-life or pro-choice credentials. I believe that in due course we will no longer need to use embryonic stem cells for research with adults cells serving just the same purpose to good effect, however until such a time comes around I support the conduct of research using embryonic stem cells. And I would support legislation to clarify the place of such research in the Irish context.
Now I will proceed to the core issue. One of the biggest weaknesses of those arguing both for and against the legalisation of abortion over the past 30 years in Ireland is that they’ve never quite come to terms with the fact that the problem we are dealing with isn’t abortion at all. The problem is that there are pregnancies that aren’t planned or wanted. If all pregnancies were planned and wanted then we’d have no need for abortion at all.