Leading pro-life campaigners from around the world are dismayed at the results from Ireland today, which show that the long-time pro-life nation has abandoned its legal protections for unborn children and will eventually approve legislation that will legalize abortions on babies as old as 6 months.
To say that the pro-life movement is in a state of shock and disappointment this morning would be to understate the situation. At the same time, pro-life advocates promised to be vigilant against abortion and to help women find pro-life solutions in unplanned pregnancy situations.
A leading pro-life group said Saturday that Ireland’s decision to overturn its 8th Amendment protecting women and unborn children has resulted in a “tragedy of historic proportions.”
The Save the Eighth group said: “What Irish voters did yesterday is a tragedy of historic proportions. However, a wrong does not become right simply because a majority support it.”
John McGuirk, spokesman for the Save the 8th group, said Irish pro-life advocates would not stop fighting abortion despite the result, as a considerable amount of voters will “still passionately believe that the decision of the people is wrong.”
Ireland “weighed it in the balance and it came down on one side,” he told Irish broadcaster RTE. “I obviously would have preferred if they had come down on the other.”
He said it is unlikely pro-life advocates would be able to stop the legislation in Parliament to legalize abortions.
“There is no prospect of the legislation not being passed,” McGuirk added.
Cora Sherlock of the ProLife Campaign called the vote “a very sad state of affairs” but said the “pro-life movement will rise to any challenge it faces” and resist what she called the trend toward abortion on demand.
Meanwhile, pro-life advocates in the United States were equally disappointed.
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Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life,told LifeNews: “The referendum in Ireland yesterday took away protection from children in the womb. Those who voted to remove that protection, which was given by the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution, have made a grave mistake.”
“The referendum itself, of course, is morally illicit. No referendum can remove fundamental rights. We cannot vote as a society to approve slavery, terrorism, or child abuse. Neither does any vote on abortion make it permissible. A nation may fail to recognize the child’s rights, but it cannot remove them,” Pavone said. “The tears of joy that some pro-abortion fanatics have today are a foreshadowing of the tears of grief that will flood the Irish cities and countryside as mothers abort their children. They will find, as we have found in America, that abortion solves no problems, but only creates new ones. Hear for yourselves the voices of these moms, dads and families of our Silent No More Campaign at AbortionTestimonies.com.”
Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins said, “Ireland will now join that sad community of nations who throw away irreplaceable human beings through abortion on demand.”
She told LifeNews: “Clearly the abortion industry and their political and cultural allies put preborn life in the crosshairs, working to push this tragic conclusion to all efforts to protect both mother and preborn child. Still, it’s a tragedy that the Irish people did not learn from our mistakes and have failed to provide pro-life protections in the law. As a result of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, we in the U.S. mourn more than 60 millionlives lost and horrific consequences for the women who endured the lies and impact of abortion. Ireland will not face a loss they can’t calculate.”
Recently, Irish psychiatrists wrote a letter, discussed in the Irish Times, arguing that the pro-abortion laws that those opposed to Amendment 8 are pushing would twist the real purpose and professional ethics of true healthcare providers. Abortion advocates want to use “mental health” as a reason for abortion, and want the law to allow for mental health abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The psychiatrists wrote: “We do not want to see spurious appeals to ‘mental health’ being used to justify post-12 week abortions …To use ‘health’ as a justification for abortion, when the vast majority of abortions do not take place on any kind of health ground, inverts the true purpose of medicine and doctors who value their calling should have nothing to do with this.”