Dr. Brendan Purcell, former lecturer in philosophy at UCD, ?has?raised serious concerns about the Abortion bill before the Oireachtas. Citing Saul Bellow’s Dean Albert Corde from The Dean’s December, Fr. Purcell referred to the bill’s creating ‘zones of incomprehension’. He asked whether those who drafted the bill intended?’to dull our consciousness when they wrote: ?The judgment in Tysiac v Poland is of particular relevance in setting out the detailed requirements envisaged by the court??’
Fr. Purcell’s letter in The Irish Times (May 9th, 2013) continues:
‘Tysiac v Poland ?s particular relevance for reducing protection of the unborn lies in its noting,?The legal prohibition on abortion, taken together with the risk of their incurring criminal responsibility under . . . the Criminal Code, can well have a chilling effect on doctors when deciding whether the requirements of legal abortion are met in an individual case. The provisions regulating the availability of lawful abortion should be formulated in such a way as to alleviate this effect. Once the legislature decides to allow abortion, it must not structure its legal framework in a way which would limit real possibilities to obtain it.? Are those who drafted their modest proposal anticipating further appeals to the European Court of Human Rights based on the logic of its Tysiac v Poland decision?’
Currently serving in Sydney Cathedral, Dr. Purcell’s special fields of interests include the work of Bernard Lonergan,? human anthropology and the questions of human origins from a philosophical perspective.