The Supreme Court of Ireland issued a highly anticipated ruling Wednesday that cleared the way for a referendum vote on unborn babies’ right to life.
Sky News reports the court examined a case about whether unborn babies have constitutional rights beyond the right to life that is guaranteed in the Eighth Amendment. In a unanimous ruling Wednesday, the justices said the Irish Constitution does not recognize rights beyond the right to life for unborn babies.
In May, the Irish are scheduled to vote on whether to retain the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which protects unborn babies’ right to life. Pro-abortion government leaders said they would like to legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks and later in limited circumstances.
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said they have been waiting on the court ruling to finalize the exact words of the ballot referendum.
“If the Supreme Court had found the child’s rights extended beyond the Eighth Amendment, the referendum might have needed to be broadened to take in other elements of the constitution, which could have delayed a vote,” according to the report.
A specific date for the vote has not been finalized, but government leaders recently proposed May 25.
The Irish Times reports more:
Had the Court left any ambiguity on this question, it would have opened the prospect of legal challenges to any future abortion legislation. But the court, in a brief summary of its judgment delivered with clarity by the Chief Justice Frank Clarke, removed any doubt. The unborn do not have constitutional rights beyond the Eighth Amendment.
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The Government will now finalise the wording for the referendum. It will propose the deletion of the existing article 40.3.3 (ie, the Eighth Amendment) and replace it with what the Government calls an “enabling” provision – “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancies.”
With the ruling out of the way, Varadkar said they plan to begin debating the abortion referendum bill this week. The Cabinet is scheduled to meet Thursday, and the proposed pro-abortion legislation is expected to be published afterward, according to the report.
“This is going to be a profoundly deep and difficult debate for everyone,” Varadkar told the Times. “[The referendum is] going to be about asking the Irish public to change the most fundamental law.”
The case before the Supreme Court of Ireland involved a Nigerian man who attempted to avoid deportation in 2008 by arguing that he was the father of an unborn child in Ireland.
Ireland is under intense pressure to repeal its Eighth Amendment, which protects unborn babies’ right to life. Abortion activists, backed by some of the world’s richest men, are pushing the pro-life country to legalize abortion on demand. In December, a biased government committee recommended that Ireland repeal its Eighth Amendment and legalize unlimited abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
A referendum vote is scheduled for May, prior to Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families. There have been rumblings among abortion activists that the Catholic leader’s visit could influence voters to support unborn babies’ right to life.
Pro-life groups have volunteers knocking on doors across Ireland to save the Eighth Amendment and unborn babies’ lives. They are up against a biased media and huge, illegal donations from American businessmen who are intent on pushing Ireland to adopt abortion on demand.