As the days close in to the Irish General Election, desperate tactics by the Labour Party have seen them unveil plans for the further liberalization of abortion that would lead to a system amounting to “abortion on demand”.
The proposal, announced in the dying days of Labour’s campaign, would see the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution (the provision providing legal protection for unborn children) removed so that abortion could be introduced on grounds of risk to life, risk to health, rape and for babies diagnosed with life-limiting conditions. They have also said that the Labour plan is for abortion that is “broadly in line” with the UK Abortion Act 1967. This is of course horrendous for anyone aware of the situation in England and Wales, where abortion is allowed up to 24 weeks for any reason, and up to birth if the baby is diagnosed with any disability.
No amount of euphemistic language from the Labour Party can disguise the true horror of what they are proposing. As a result of the 1967 Act, all respect for unborn human life has been completely stripped away in England where, for example, 90% of babies diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome are aborted.
The Pro Life Campaign has said that Irish society needs to reflect on the appalling inhumanity of what is contained in Labour’s proposal and the total disregard it shows towards innocent and defenceless human life. They have also pointed out that voter deserve to know what a vote for Labour would mean on the abortion issue.
Labour’s senior partner in the outgoing Irish Government is Fine Gael, led by Prime Minister Enda Kenny. His idea of dealing with the abortion issue is to set up a citizens’ convention to look at the issue after the election. For pro-life supporters however, this will look very like a repeat of what happened in advance of the abortion legislation which was introduced to Ireland in 2013. Back then, Enda Kenny initiated Parliamentary Hearings, then ignored the expert medical evidence presented to them and instead caved in to Labour’s demands for abortion to be introduced. Not once has Mr. Kenny defended all that is positive about the 8thAmendment and the fact that there are thousands of people alive today because of Ireland’s pro-life laws.
There is nothing liberal or life-protecting about Labour’s proposal. It is the same tired, clichéd and inadequate response that led to wide-ranging abortion in other countries. What is being proposed would do nothing to empower women or meet their needs when faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Many women who regret their abortions say that all it would have taken is for one person to have offered them support and encouragement and they’d have continued with their pregnancy. Labour’s proposal is the opposite of empowerment and freedom. In the name of ‘choice’ it pretends there is no social or emotional cost involved in going through with an abortion. That is a total betrayal of women.
Despite all the criticism generated by Fine Gael, Labour and the other powerful groups who are working hard to target unborn children in Ireland, the 8th Amendment was a milestone in human rights when it was introduced. As the debate develops, the Pro Life Campaign will be working hard to ensure that the Irish public gets a chance to hear pro-life stories and when that happens, more and more people will see the value of keeping the 8th Amendment.
For the election this Friday however, Ireland’s pro-life laws hang in the balance and before voting, pro-life supporters are encouraged to check the Pro Life Campaign’s website at www.prolifecampaign.ie to find out exactly where their candidates stand on this vital issue and they are urged to only give their vote to people who will stand up for all human life, born and unborn.