The Simple Truth: Abortion is Legal Up to Birth in Ireland in Some Cases

International   Cora Sherlock   Jul 10, 2014   |   10:17AM    Dublin, Ireland

This week sees the first anniversary of the passing into law of the Abortion Act in Ireland and the Pro Life Campaign have been to the forefront of marking the date through various initiatives and awareness events.

To mark the anniversary, the Simple Truth campaign was launched today (listing on Twitter under #simpletruth).  As the name implies, the aim of the campaign is to publicize the simple facts behind the Government’s legislation – facts which were so roundly ignored and manipulated last year during the farcical Government-led discussions.  At the time, and ever since, Prime Minister Enda Kenny has stuck to the mantra that this legislation was necessary to save women’s lives.  But the simple truth is very different.

The Campaign revolves around five graphics, each one focusing on a different, essential “truth” that was overlooked by the Government in their rush to appease pro-choice advocates:

“9 Months” provokes the most disgust at the Government’s Act which allows for an abortion to take place during the full nine months of pregnancy.  This horrifying fact was never addressed and never explained by the Government who consistently fudged the facts last year, ignoring their accountability to the Irish people.

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“Suicide” draws attention to the fact that the central premise for this legislation is faulty.  There is no medical evidence to show that abortion is ever a suitable treatment for women suffering suicidal ideation. There is however, a wealth of international evidence showing that abortion itself can have serious adverse mental health consequences for women.

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“Confusion” highlights the manipulation of the Irish public, who were told time and again that this legislation was necessary to save women’s lives.  They were not told that women in Ireland receive whatever treatment they need while pregnant, and that doctors do their very best to save the lives of both patients – mother and baby.  This legislation strikes at the heart of that three-way relationship of medical care which has been the hallmark of the medical profession in Ireland.

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“Barbaric” 
shows the true nature of this legislation. Not only did the Government press ahead to allow abortions take place during the full nine months of pregnancy, they refused to accept any amendments that would oblige a doctor to administer pain relief to an unborn baby during a late-term abortion.  In keeping with the deliberate manipulation of the Irish public, this fact was not publicized during the debates last year but it remains one of the most distressing and inhumane aspects of this disgusting Act.

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“Opinion” focuses on the fact that we are constantly being told that a majority of people in Ireland support abortion.  This is not true.  When opinion polls are properly worded, setting out the vital distinction between abortion on the one hand, where the sole intention is to end the baby’s life, and medical treatment on the other, where the intention is to do everything possible to save both mother and baby, a majority of people oppose abortion. It did not suit those who advocated for the legislation to set out this distinction in their opinion polls.  The wording was skewed too often, so that the results were unreliable – but they were still held up as part of the charade to convince the public that legislation was necessary and wanted.

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In Ireland, we are one year on from the most devastating piece of social legislation that has ever been introduced.  The Government would like the pro life movement to fade into the background, accept that abortion will become more and more normalized in our society, and resign ourselves to the fact that there is nothing we can do about it.  But that’s just not going to happen.

The Simple Truth campaign cuts through the lies and misconceptions spread by key players last year.  It reaches out to the Irish public, explaining how the Government set out to mislead them, and highlighting the devastating results of that deception.  As such, it’s an excellent start to the campaign to have this legislation repealed.  And that’s all it is – a start.  Because this week doesn’t just mark the anniversary of the legislation; it marks the beginning of a new phase in the compelling fight to bring down this legislation and restore full legal protection to unborn babies in Ireland.