Ireland Group Proposes Initiative to Legalize Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 9, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Ireland Group Proposes Initiative to Legalize Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 9, 2005

Durbin, Ireland ( — The Irish Family Planning Association launched an initiative today to overturn Ireland’s law prohibiting abortions. The group wants to take Ireland off of the list of a handful of countries in Europe that make abortion illegal.

Catherine Forde, the head of the group, believes that Irish women have become more in favor of abortion since the last vote on abortion in the Catholic country in 1983. In addition to the initiative, Forde’s ‘Safe and Legal in Ireland’ campaign includes an educational and political campaign to persuade Irish voters.

Pro-life advocates protested at the press conference unveiling the new initiative. They held signs and banners and sang chants outside the Westin Hotel in Dublin.

Although abortion advocates say that nearly 6,000 women a year travel to England for abortions there, the Irish group has not made assertions that illegal abortions are occurring in Ireland despite the rise of the new immigrant community who either don’t have the money to travel or worry they wouldn’t be allowed back in the country.

IFPA is calling for the removal of Article 40.3.3 from the country’s constitution.

Article 40.3.3 states: "The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right."

Abortion advocates will seek meetings with key leaders from each political party with the hopes of convincing them to join the cause. They are also backing lawsuits filed by three Irish women who complain about having to go abroad to obtain an abortion. The are taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Meanwhile, the Pro Life Campaign has said it is saddened by the call for legalizing abortion and indicated it would oppose the efforts.