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Last Night's Claire Byrne Live Is Under Fire Over Its Debate Of The Eighth Amendment

Last Night's Claire Byrne Live Is Under Fire Over Its Debate Of The Eighth Amendment

Claire Byrne Live is never without tension but last night's episode is under the spotlight after its debate of the Eighth Amendment between leaders from both sides of the campaign.

The panel on the Yes side includes Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou Mac Donald, TogetherForYes Orla O'Connor and Doctor Peter Boylan, Chair of the Institution of Gynaecologists. The No side panelists included Iona Institute spokesperson Maria Sheen, Doctor John Monaghan and Mary Butler from Fianna Fáil.

Viewers took particular offence to audience members on the No side cheering during the panel's discussion of tragic and hard cases including a brain-dead woman who was kept on life support, against her family's wishes, to continue the life of the unborn child.

The No side Doctor disagreed on the issue of women dying because of the Eighth Amendment which was met with disbelief from the Yes side. Doctors, who would be assisting women throughout their pregnancies or an abortion, opinions became the most untrusted during the debate and Twitter was shocked. Of the 2000 plus GPs in the country, over 80% agree that the 8th does not protect the life of the mother:

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Many viewers were worried about women experiencing a crisis pregnancy watching stigma and shaming bubble to the surface of the debate. One woman in the audience spoke about how the lead campaigners on the No side are not only opposing the introduction of abortion but education around contraception and sex education:

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Articulate and compassionate, Mary Lou Mac Donald was the real winner of the debate with non-Sinn Feinn voters appreciating her composed outlook on the matter:

The vote on the Eighth Amendment will take place next week. Voters will be asked to decide whether or not to remove the Eighth that equates the life of the unborn to a woman thus allowing for legislation around abortion to be introduced. To watch the episode in full click here.

Garret Farrell

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