Unborn babies no longer have any rights or protections in Ireland after President Michael D. Higgins signed an amendment to repeal the Eighth Amendment on Tuesday.
Ireland voted in May to repeal the pro-life Eighth Amendment, which recognized unborn babies as valuable human beings and prohibited abortions. However, legal challenges delayed the nation’s leader from signing the paperwork to officially repeal it from the constitution, according to the Daily Mail.
The Pro Life Campaign lamented the news Tuesday, calling the act a “sad day for human rights.”
“Today is a day to remember all the lives saved by the 8th Amendment and all the people who are alive today because of it,” said spokeswoman Dr. Ruth Cullen. “But it’s also a sad day for human rights as a vital life-saving human rights provision of the Constitution has been removed.”
Breaking News Ireland reports government leaders now are pushing the legislature to pass a radical pro-abortion bill that would legalize elective abortions and force taxpayers to pay for them.
Health Minister Simon Harris, who is pro-abortion, said he wants abortions to be legal and free of charge to women by the beginning of 2019.
“I said from the start that I don’t want cost to be a barrier because if cost is a barrier you get into a situation where one of two things happen,” Harris said. “You see private clinics develop, we don’t want that to happen in Ireland we want this to be part of an integrated health service, and secondly you can see people having to continue to travel.”
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His bill also would legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to six months in a wide variety of circumstances, including eugenic abortions that discriminate against unborn babies with disabilities.
Harris repeatedly has claimed his legislation does not allow late-term abortions on the grounds of a disability. But in June, the health minister said he would oppose an amendment to prohibit eugenic abortions, She Magazine reports.
Pro-life lawmakers are considering a number of amendments that would give unborn babies at least some protections in Ireland.
If the legislation passes, Cullen predicted that the Irish people soon will look back and regret repealing the Eighth Amendment.
“I am confident that a day will come in the not too distant future when people reflect on what has happened and regret the fact that we as a society have opened the door to the greatest injustice and discrimination of our time, namely legalised abortion, which targets and ends the lives of innocent and defenceless unborn babies,” Cullen said.
The Dáil is slated to consider the pro-abortion legislation in October, AFP reports.