Irish pro-life advocate Tim Jackson gave up his hunger strike Wednesday after a government committee refused his request to watch a video showing how an unborn baby is aborted.
The committee was established to consider repealing the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which protects the right to life of unborn babies.
Abortion activists and some of the world’s richest men have been pushing the pro-life country to repeal the Eighth Amendment and legalize abortion on demand. Earlier this week, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that a referendum vote on the amendment will be held in May or June of 2018.
Ten days ago, Jackson began his hunger strike outside the Dáil (lower house of Irish Parliament) with a white flag and a sign with an image of an unborn baby that read “Stop the killing.”
The Donegal Democrat reports the young man gave up his hunger strike Wednesday after the committee refused his repeated requests to watch the video.
“It seems to me another example of them sticking their heads in the sand and not really want to face up to what they are trying to legalise,” Jackson said. “If they were to look at the hard reality of it, how the child is killed, it would be indefensible really.”
He said he has not given up his fight for unborn babies, but he is “tired, hungry and cold” after the 10-day strike.
Jackson said he wants lawmakers to see how an abortion brutally kills an unborn baby before they make any recommendations. He said he previously wrote a letter to the committee urging them to watch a video describing how an unborn baby is aborted, but he never received an answer.
“It’s a very simple demand that I’m making, that the politicians face the very ugly truth of what will happen to these children in an abortion,” he said. “Too many lives are on the line.”
Jackson told Highland Radio that he absolutely is against a referendum vote on the pro-life amendment.
“I don’t want a vote on who can live and who can die, absolutely not,” he said.
Abortion activists with the Abortion Rights Campaign Ireland mocked his protest earlier this week, calling it a “farcical media stunt.”
The Eighth Amendment in Ireland gives unborn babies a right to life. The country also has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates and some of the best health care for women in the world. However, abortion activists and some of the world’s richest men have been pushing the pro-life country to repeal the Eighth Amendment and legalize abortion on demand.
Abortion activists want a vote in May or June before Pope Francis’s scheduled visit in August. They fear the Catholic leader’s strong advocacy for the unborn could influence voters to uphold the Eighth Amendment.
Catholic priests and bishops in Ireland have been strong advocates for unborn babies in the on-going abortion debate, and Pope Francis likely would echo this during his visit during the World Meeting of Families. The pope frequently has described abortion as a product of our “throw-away culture” and urged Catholics worldwide to be compassionate advocates for unborn babies.
Pro-lifers estimate that the Eighth Amendment has saved approximately 100,000 unborn babies’ lives from abortion in Ireland. The country also has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates and best health care for women in the world.
Polls indicate a strong majority of Irish voters oppose abortion on demand. However, there is some support for abortions in cases of rape, the physical and mental health of the mother and fatal fetal anomalies.