A motion passed at yesterday’s Labour Party conference in favour of abortion legislation has been described by the Pro Life Campaign (PLC) as “ignoring the hurt that abortion causes women.”
The motion, passed by the junior partner in Ireland’s coalition Government, comes as a group of Independent lawmakers are set to table a motion before the Irish Parliament (Dáil Éireann) this week.
In a statement, PLC spokesperson, Dr Ruth Cullen said that those who spoke in favour of the Labour motion had “tried to imply that legislation would safeguard women’s lives.”
Previously, Labour had said they wanted abortion along the lines of the infamous X case, a 1992 ruling of the Irish Supreme Court. The ruling controversially held that the pro-clause in Ireland’s Constitution permitted abortion where the woman’s life or health was threatened during pregnancy. The court failed to hear medical evidence showing that abortion is never needed to save the life of a pregnant woman.
This latest move by Labour widened the grounds on which the party would support abortion legislation.
She added: “Those who supported the motion should know that Ireland, without abortion, is the safest country for pregnant women and that there is a clear distinction between necessary medical treatment in pregnancy and direct abortion, the aim of which is to end the baby’s life.
“Repeatedly, figures from the United Nations on maternal mortality show that Ireland is a world leader in this area. Yet instead of celebrating this achievement, pro-abortion campaigners repeatedly distort the facts. The adoption of the motion also shows that the Labour Party is ignoring the hurt that abortion causes women. Increasingly, research is showing that abortion is a leading risk factor for increased mental health problems for women.
“Despite this, Labour has assumed an outdated position that refuses to take on board this evidence, or the stories that many women are telling about the trauma that abortion has caused them.”
Dr Cullen added: “There is nothing progressive about adopting a policy that disregards the right to life and ignores the negative effects of abortion on women.”
Dr Cullen also referred to pre-election commitments given by the senior coalition Government party, Fine Gael, to safeguard Ireland’s pro-life laws.
“This latest evidence of Labour’s aggressive stance in favour of abortion makes it all the more imperative that voters hold Fine Gael to their election promise to retain Ireland’s pro-life stance,” Dr Cullen concluded.