Ireland’s Minister for Health, Simon Harris, proved his determination to avoid discussing the reality of what his abortion law would mean during the recent campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment, Ireland’s constitutional protection for unborn children.
Now that the Eighth is gone, the Minister is pressing on with what would amount to one of the most radical abortion laws in Europe. At the same time, he is trying to ignore and criticise those who disagree with him.
This week, the Pro Life Campaign, accused Minister Harris of repeatedly raising the issue of creating exclusion zones outside abortion clinics for no other reason than to depict pro-life people in a poor light and to take the focus off the extreme abortion law he is presenting to Cabinet. Suggesting that such exclusion zones, or buffer zones are necessary is not only an affront on free speech, but it gives the impression that pro-life campaigners are too extreme to stand outside abortion clinics and offer support to families unsure that they can keep their babies. Many lives have been saved when women took up this last minute offer of help but this doesn’t figure in the Minister’s narrow vision of an Ireland where abortion is available.
Spokesperson Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro Life Campaign said:
“Anyone not familiar with the extreme nature of the Government’s planned abortion legislation could be forgiven for thinking Minister Harris was merely introducing legislation for ‘buffer zones’ outside abortion clinics given the ridiculously disproportionate attention he has given to this particular issue.
“Of course it suits Simon Harris to deflect away from the true horror of his new abortion law. Depicting pro-lifers in as poor a light as possible and harping on about things like the need for buffer zones to stop anti-abortion protests certainly creates a very different image from having to explain to the public what will be happening behind closed doors in the rooms where totally innocent and defenceless unborn babies are having their lives ended. There’s nothing new about Simon Harris’s public relations strategy. It is directly and faithfully taken from the international pro-abortion playbook, where abortion at all costs must be sanitised and its opponents demonised.”
And that’s not all. The Minister is also seeking Cabinet approval for State funding of abortion services – meaning that the one-third of the voting public who opted to keep legal protection for unborn babies and their mothers could now be forced to pay for the ending of those lives. While it’s true that in Ireland, we don’t get to choose where our taxes go, abortion is something very different. In every abortion, a human life is ended and a woman is very often damaged, either emotionally or physically. It’s not the same as everything else we spend our taxes on. Usually taxes go towards making lives better, not ending them. To simply disregard that shows a real lack of understanding on the Minister’s part of what is really involved in the life and death abortion debate.
Commenting on this aspect of the Minister’s current plan, Dr. Cullen said:
“Bit by bit, voters are learning that the Government’s plan all along was for the provision of wide-ranging abortion and not just limited abortion in keeping with how things were spun in advance of the referendum. When pro-life people said there would be taxpayer funded abortions, we were accused of scaremongering. Sadly, based on today’s reports, that’s precisely what is being planned by Simon Harris.”