Pro-Life Groups: Ireland Vote to OK Abortions a Sad Day for Women, Babies

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 12, 2013   |   12:56PM   |   Dublin, Ireland

Leading pro-life groups are bemoaning the vote yesterday in the Irish Parliament to legalize some abortions — calling it a sad day for women and unborn children.

The passage of the Government’s abortion legislation marks a sad day for unborn children and their mothers but opens a new phase of activity for the Irish pro-life movement, the Pro Life Campaign said today.

“Thousands of people across Ireland feel a deep sadness at what happened but also a determined motivation to turn this bad situation around,” PLC spokesperson Caroline Simons said.

“The constitutional protection for unborn babies achieved in 1983 was undermined by the Supreme Court decision in X. That decision made it possible to legislate for the unjust destruction of unborn children. It is shameful that our Government should activate all this now,” Ms Simons said.

She told LifeNews: “Thousands of people feel deep sadness at what has happened. We know that Ireland, without abortion, has been among the safest places in the world for women to be pregnant.  We now move into a new phase of activity where we will work to restore full constitutional protection for unborn children and a legal order that operates to discourage abortion, not promote it. That work starts today.”

“The pro-life movement is mobilised and growing. We have seen the biggest ever gatherings of pro-life people in recent weeks. We may not have as many media friends as our opponents but we will continue to work with every sector of society to promote and defend the dignity of human life,” the ProLife Campaign leader added. “Opinion polls show that where it is shown that abortion is not a treatment for suicidal feelings – and it is not – there is strong opposition to abortion.”

Simons said there is  deep disappointment that the Taoiseach and Fine Gael reneged on their pre-election pro-life promise and over the Government’s bullying of TDs whose consciences were troubled by this legislation.

“But the pro-life movement has new impressive role-models in former Minister Lucinda Creighton and Fine Gael TDs Terence Flanagan, Brian Walsh, Billy Timmins, Peter Mathews and Sinn Féin TD Peadar Toibín who dared to dissent,” she said. “We thank those TDs for their impressive leadership in the defence of human dignity. Our members will work as never before to ensure that they and others like them get a resounding mandate at the next election.”

The head of Human Life International said Irish legislators have opened the door to abortion on demand in a country which until now has been long praised by people around the world for its legal protection of unborn life.

After a vote of 127 to 31 early Friday morning in Dublin, the Irish Parliament has passed a bill that, despite its name, is designed only to destroy life, said Human Life International President Father Shenan J. Boquet.

“The Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill isn’t actually designed to protect a single life during pregnancy. It is designed to destroy life,” said Father Boquet. “Ireland’s legislators have failed the Irish people by caving to international pressure from anti-life governments, organizations, and activists, and have opened the door to abortion on demand.”

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The bill legalizes the direct, intentional killing of an unborn child in circumstances where it is determined continuing the pregnancy places the mother’s life at risk. Threats of suicide are considered cause to terminate a pregnancy under the legislation.

“Medical experts in Ireland have made it clear that abortion is not necessary to save the mother’s life, and is not a treatment for suicide. None of the psychiatrists called to testify at the hearings on this bill could say under oath that abortion was needed to save the life of a suicidal woman. And many studies have shown that women who have had abortions are much more likely to commit suicide than women who have not had them. So it’s clear that protecting the health of women and protecting life had nothing to do with this bill’s passage,” Father Boquet said.

He continued, “We pray that the Lord will intervene and save the women and children of Ireland from this deadly legislation. As the recent rallies in Ireland where pro-life advocates took to the streets in record numbers demonstrate, the Irish people are waking up to the assault on life in this pro-life nation. This fight is not over.”