A Catholic Irish-American group will not invite pro-abortion politicians from Ireland to speak at its annual convention this year, the organization decided this month.
The American branch of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) holds a conference every year where it invites politicians and others to speak. In the past, Irish Sinn Fein party leader Mary Lou McDonald has spoken, but McDonald will not be invited this year because of her support for abortion, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
Recently, the Catholic fraternal organization approved a resolution to “protect all life from conception to natural death and to accept and support without prejudice the free expression of religious practices for the people of the world,” according to the report.
The resolution is in response to the May referendum vote to repeal Ireland’s Eighth Amendment, which protects unborn babies’ lives. Irish politicians currently are debating a bill that would legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks and up to six months for a wide variety of reasons.
Here’s more from the report:
Last Monday a message was posted on the Tyrone AOH Facebook page saying “our St Joseph’s Pro-Life Division Dungannon has commended the American Hibernians for rescinding an invitation to Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald to speak at the convention”.
It added: “Sinn Fein’s radical pro-abortion policies scuppered McDonald’s ambitions.”
Hours later the word “rescinding” was changed to “not inviting”, and the post was removed altogether on Tuesday.
Speaking from Ohio, national vice president of the AOH in America Danny O’Connell said his organisation had “specifically chosen not to invite political parties because of pro-life issues going on in Ireland”.
O’Connell also emphasized that they are not singling out any political party in the move. He said the same standard will apply to everyone.
For decades, the Eighth Amendment protected unborn babies and mothers equally in Ireland by recognizing that both are valuable human beings who deserve a right to life. More than 100,000 Irish unborn babies and mothers were spared from the pain and death of abortion.
Ireland also was one of the safest places in the world for pregnant mothers and their babies, with one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world.
Now, the fear is Ireland’s abortion law will mirror Britain’s, where one in every five unborn babies’ lives ends in abortion each year. In Britain, abortion is permitted until 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks and up to six months for a wide variety of reasons.
Catholic medical professionals and hospitals’ conscience rights also are being threatened by those who claim to be faithful Catholics. In June, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Catholic hospitals will not be allowed to opt out of aborting unborn babies. Under the government leaders’ plan, Catholic medical workers also will be forced to refer women for abortions if they are unwilling to abort unborn babies themselves.