Catholic Bishop Donal McKeown urged Irish voters speak boldly about the value of human life as the nation approaches a critical vote on abortion.
McKeown, who oversees the diocese of Derry in Ireland, wrote a passionate letter this week to encourage those fighting to preserve unborn babies’ rights, according to Donegal Now.
“Tell [legislators] that, when we deny the dignity of some forms of human life, we undermine the dignity of all human life,” McKeown wrote. “Tell their friends not to be ashamed of standing for this.”
On May 25, Ireland is scheduled to vote on whether to retain 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.
Pro-lifers estimate that the Eighth Amendment has saved more than 100,000 unborn babies’ lives from abortion.
McKeown described the relationship between a parent and child as “deeply rooted in human nature.”
“Becoming a mother or father is a great joy for so many people. Many parents see their child as a miracle,” he wrote.
“Lots of children are alive now because of the wonderful care that sick or premature babies can receive. On the other hand many couples also experience the aching pain of not being able to have children of their own,” McKeown continued. “… Parenthood touches the core of who we are as human beings.”
For some, though, joy is difficult, he acknowledged.
“A pregnancy can be unwelcome, frightening and unplanned,” the bishop wrote. “The child may have special needs which will be a challenge for the parents before and after birth. These are very real situations where expectant parents may experience a whole range of feelings.
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“Whatever the situation, life in the womb cannot reduced to merely a medical issue or something to do with ‘reproductive rights,’” he said.
He urged all pro-lifers, Catholic and otherwise, to contact their legislators and tell them that killing an innocent unborn child is not the answer to such difficulties.
“Tell legislators that the people of Ireland are capable of loving life in all its imperfections,” McKeown wrote. “Tell them that the adult and the baby are both infinitely valuable. Tell them that more compassionate solutions can be found for all crisis situations.”
Ireland has one of the best maternal health care records in the world. It has a long, solid history of providing the utmost care to both mother and unborn child.
Yet, abortion activists have been pushing a false narrative that Ireland needs to legalize abortion to protect women’s health. If the Eighth Amendment is repealed, lawmakers will consider a bill to legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and even later in a broad range of circumstances.
While polls show modest support for repealing the Eighth Amendment, they also consistently show that most people do not want abortion on demand. A recent poll showed the pro-abortion side losing ground.