Some Irish Government Ministers started the New Year in a very negative way by insisting the they will address the issue of abortion after the election.
The Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe were both members of a group of ministers who pressured the Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, to hold a Citizens’ Convention on how to repeal the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, which is the last remaining legal protection for unborn babies in Ireland.
Minister Fitzgerald went further, saying that the main Government Party, Fine Gael, would be perfectly well able to run the Convention with the assistance of their current partner in Government, the Labour Party. She also said that she finds the term “abortion on demand” “insulting” to women.
Pro-life supporters in Ireland recognise that the Convention is nothing more than a show to persuade the Irish public that the Government is listening to all sides of the abortion debate. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth as the format of the Convention and the comments by various politicians will remind many of 2013 when the same Fine Gael/Labour Government held two sets of public Hearings where experts gave evidence that abortion was not a treatment for suicide ideation. Notwithstanding this, the Government introduced a law in 2013 that allowed for abortion during the full 9 months of pregnancy where there is a threat of suicide.
In its New Year message, the Pro Life Campaign said that the comments by Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Deputy Paschal Donohoe on abortion are further proof that this Government is completely out of touch with the electorate when it comes to addressing the needs of those facing unplanned pregnancies.
A spokesperson for the PLC said:
“It’s a very sad state of affairs when the first message of the new year is one that highlights the determination of some Government Ministers to target the lives of the most vulnerable members of Irish society. There is something very unseemly about the way Minister Frances Fitzgerald insists that Fine Gael can ‘deal with’ abortion with or without the Labour Party. Tens of thousands of people are alive in Ireland today thanks to the 8th Amendment. It is a life-saving provision, not a political football.”
“Minister Fitzgerald is being deliberately disingenuous when she distances herself from the term ‘abortion on demand’. She knows, as well as all others involved in this debate, that any repeal or dismantling of the 8th Amendment would result in widescale abortion over time.”
So what does 2016 have in store for the pro-life movement in Ireland and how does this relate to the comments by the Government Ministers?
“The huge numbers of people becoming involved in the Pro Life Campaign is a sign that Minister Fitzgerald and those who want to repeal the 8th Amendment are drastically out of step with the electorate. It is high time for the Government to take a step back and work on the ways they can help families keep their babies instead of constantly talking about abortion.”