Sabina Higgins showed 'lack of judgement' says Iona Institute spokesperson

Maria Steen has said the President's wife had no right to voice her opinion on abortion

Sabina Higgins showed 'lack of judgement' says Iona Institute spokesperson

Maria Steen | Image:

Maria Steen, from the Iona Institute, says Sabina Higgins should "at the very least" withdraw the comments she made last week in a reference to foetal abnormalities.

The President's wife was speaking after a debate organised by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland where she said it was an "outrage" against women that in the case of "foetal abnormality", a person should be "made carry" the baby.

Speaking on Newstalk's Pat Kenny Show this morning, Maria Steen said: "Mrs. Higgins is inextricably connected with the president and if she doesn't understand that, that is a worrying sign."

"In my view it shows a lack of judgement on her part and a lack of understanding of the privileged position which she and her husband enjoy" she added.

Steen was speaking as part of a debate with Amnesty International's Colm O' Gorman on the topic of the 8th amendment.

O'Gorman defended the right of Sabina Higgins to her own opinions as a private citizen of Ireland.

He said the comments she made are "consistent" with views she's expressed as an "activist going back very many years."

"If anything she's been clear and consistent in her principles and, I think, that's something that should be respected."

He also added it is a "nonsense" to suggest that family members of president's couldn't be "free to express their views like any other citizens."

Ireland's abortion laws will be top of the agenda when Frances Fitzgerald addresses the United Nations later today.

The Tánaiste is travelling to Geneva to outline what the Government has done to improve human rights here.

Housing, historical abuse of women & children, the rights of minority groups and immigration & asylum are some of the other issues expected to be addressed.

The full debate from The Pat Kenny Show can be listened to below: