Ireland Will Force Catholic Pregnancy Centers to Promote Abortion

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 28, 2018   |   10:35AM   |   Dublin, Ireland

Pro-abortion leaders in Ireland are pushing hard for radical pro-abortion laws that would force even Catholic pregnancy centers to promote abortions.

Pro-abortion Health Minister Simon Harris said Thursday that crisis pregnancy centers will be forced to provide information about abortions beginning next year, Extra Ireland reports.

Ireland voted to repeal its Eighth Amendment in May, stripping away protections for unborn babies from the Irish Constitution. Now, government leaders are pushing radical pro-abortion legislation that would legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to six months in a wide variety of circumstances. It would force taxpayers to pay for abortions and force Catholic hospitals to provide them.

On Thursday, the country’s Cabinet approved Harris’s bill, according to the report. It now moves to the Oireachtas, the Irish legislature, for debate.

Harris said every pregnancy center that receives taxpayer funding will be required to provide its clients with information about where they can get abortions; there will be no religious or moral exemptions.

“I believe that crisis pregnancy agencies, regardless of who owns them or who runs them, if they’re funded by the taxpayer, should make all of the information available to women,” he said.

“I don’t think that’s a very radical concept to have. Trust women, trust women to make their own decisions. We should inform women of their options and let women make their decisions,” Harris continued.

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He also urged the legislature to pass the bill quickly so that abortion will be legal by January 2019.

Previously, Harris said Catholic hospitals will be forced to abort unborn babies, and doctors will be required to do abortions or refer patients to someone who does.

Under his plan, abortions will be paid for with taxpayer dollars – a cost of about €5 million (about $5.8 million) per year, according to the Irish Times.

Here’s more from Extra:

The minister has met Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to discuss a provision for abortion in the forthcoming budget, but declined to say how much he argued that would be needed or how much would be provided.

‘Obviously, there’s a cost with all of this. Those costs will be determined both through the estimates process and through the discussions that I’ll have in terms of the contractual obligations,’ he said. ‘This needs to be resourced, it needs to be resourced adequately so that we can have safe, women-centered provision of this service in our country.’

These radical proposals have been met with strong push-back. Catholic leaders already have said their agencies will not abort unborn babies or provide information that encourages women to have abortions.

“Faithful Catholics will make no compromise on the issue of abortion with the spirit of this evil age,” Father Patrick McCafferty of Belfast recently wrote at Irish News. “Abortion is a matter of life or death. To intentionally terminate the most defenseless among us, is indicative of what is at the heart of human society, which must be rejected and opposed at every turn.”

Approximately 20 hospitals in Ireland are affiliated with Catholic religious orders, according to the Catholic Herald.

The government leaders’ proposal 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 the legislation does not allow 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.

Despite the devastating setback in May, pro-life advocates have vowed to keep fighting to protect unborn babies, mothers and conscience rights for medical professionals across Ireland.