The Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny has said that politicians in the Fine Gael Party will be allowed to have a free vote on abortion if the matter is raised in the Irish Parliament.
Reacting to the comments, the Pro Life Campaign has said that this announcement will do little to reassure those who want to see full unborn babies protected in Ireland. While it is being presented as something dramatic and ground-breaking, in reality nothing could be further from the truth. The time for politicians to be given a free vote on abortion was back in 2013. At that time however, Enda Kenny chose to ignore the commitment that his party had given to pro-life voters in 2011, when they promised not to introduce abortion into Ireland. Instead, he applied the party whip and insisted that members of the Fine Gael Party vote for abortion legislation. Those politicians that refused to vote for abortion were expelled from the Fine Gael Party.
After such a record then, it will come as no surprise that pro-life supporters will be slow to trust Enda Kenny or any member of his party who betrayed the unborn in 2013.
While his comments have been reported in some quarters of the Irish media as something dramatic and groundbreaking, nothing could be further from the truth. The added suggestion by Enda Kenny that the abortion issue could be referred to a “Citizens’ Convention” who would make a decision on whether the public should be given an opportunity to remove the basic right to life from the Irish Constitution will simply remind voters of the charade that took place in 2013.
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Back then, a great show was made of the fact that Enda Kenny’s Government was holding two sets of Public Hearings to which a wide range of experts were invited to give their evidence on the legal, medical and psychiatric implications of the law that pro-choice campaigners wanted to see introduced. The evidence produced clearly showed that there was no evidence anywhere in the world to show that abortion treats suicide ideation, but this was ignored by Enda Kenny and his Government who went ahead and introduced a law that allowed for abortion for the full nine months of pregnancy where there is a threat of suicide.
Sadly, abortions have already taken place under this Act and there are many who feel that it is this stark fact that should be the subject of discussion at present, not a referendum that could result in the removal of the last remaining constitutional protection for the unborn in Ireland.
Pro-life supporters would also find it really refreshing if politicians in Ireland were prepared to talk about how the 8th Amendment to the Constitution is responsible for saving the lives of tens of thousands of people due to the fact that they were given the necessary time and space to change their minds and keep their baby. This would be a far more productive thing for Enda Kenny to reflect on instead of capitulating at every opportunity to the demands of those who are campaigning for wide-ranging and unrestricted abortion.