Irish taxpayers soon may be forced to pay for women’s elective abortions.
This week, the Oireachtas Health Committee rejected an amendment to prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for unborn babies’ abortion deaths, the Irish Examiner reports.
The committee spent nine hours debating a bill that would legalize abortion on demand in Ireland, according to the report. The pro-abortion bill 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. The bill also strictly limits conscience protections for medical professionals.
Irish lawmakers introduced 180 amendments to the bill, many of which would provide at least some protections for unborn babies, but pro-abortion leaders already have rejected a number of the proposals, the Independent reports.
Former Sinn Féin TD Carol Nolan, who was punished by her party for voting pro-life, introduced the amendment to protect taxpayers from being forced to pay for elective abortions.
“Government Ministers sponsored funding of abortion goes against the principles of their own party members, the voters’ wishes and opens the door to tourism abortion at Irish taxpayer’s expense. Even €100 Million of tax funding won’t be enough for the abortion industry. It is an abhorrent misuse of public money,” Nolan said, according to the Offaly Express.
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Other pro-life TDs said Ireland’s healthcare system already is suffering from a lack of funds, and taxpayer-funded abortions would stretch it even more, the Examiner reports.
Government leaders proposed a budget of €12 million (about $13.7 million) to pay for abortions – which Nolan called “unacceptable.”
“At no time was the voter told that their hard earned money would be used to discriminate against unborn children,” she said. “This type of funding is not a Health Service and does nothing to benefit communities. Taxpayers’ money must not be used to fund abortion and abortion clinics throughout Ireland.”
The Examiner reports more:
However, [Health Minister Simon] Harris said the funding for termination services will be far from “generous and flaithulach”, as the amount allocated is just 0.0007% of the total Health budget.
Ms Nolan said Mr Harris had bowed to pro-choice campaigners’ pressure.
She said: “You once were pro-life, then when you realised when it wasn’t popular or indeed wouldn’t guarantee you your ministry, then you decided to turn, ‘I’m not that sort of a person, OK?’
The committee also rejected an amendment to ban sex-selection abortions and another requiring the dignified disposal of aborted babies’ bodies by cremation or burial.
Meanwhile, pro-abortion lawmaker Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell urged the committee to remove the phrase “end the life of the foetus” from the legislation and replace it with “end a pregnancy.” According to the report, O’Connell claimed the language would make the bill more “women-centric.” In actuality, it would hide the true, violent nature of abortion.
Many pro-life TDs have said the legislation is much more radically pro-abortion than what voters expected when they chose to repeal the pro-life Eighth Amendment in May.
“It is also important to note that the 34 per cent of the population that voted to retain the Eighth Amendment plus the 20 per cent of Yes voters who don’t agree with this bill should have a voice in the Oireachtas,” said TD Peadar Toibín, who was suspended by his party last week for voting pro-life. “It is reasonable that TDs should give voice to the opposing views on Simon Harris’s abortion bill in roughly the proportion that exists in society. There is no better way to push voters to the extreme than to deny them a legitimate democratic voice.”
Catholic hospitals, pregnancy centers, doctors and other medical professionals are voicing strong resistance to the pro-abortion legislation as well. They will be forced to promote or provide abortions under the bill.
In September, pro-abortion Health Minister Simon Harris confirmed that Catholic hospitals will be forced to abort unborn babies, saying, “conscientious objections is for individuals, not institutions.” However, the conscience protections for individuals in the bill also are very weak.
An October poll by Amárach found that a full 80 percent of Irish respondents said health care workers should not be forced to carry out abortions against their conscience. An additional 60 percent opposed taxpayer-funded abortions.