The Irish people soon will be forced to pay for women’s elective abortions after the Dáil voted in favor of a radical pro-abortion bill Wednesday.
Pro-life lawmakers have introduced dozens of amendments to lessen the severity of the pro-abortion bill, which 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 all hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to provide them. The bill also strictly limits conscience protections for medical professionals.
Though polls indicate strong opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions, the country’s lawmakers moved forward with the bill anyway. In a 90-9 vote Wednesday, they rejected an amendment to prohibit taxpayer funding for abortions except in emergency situations, RTE reports.
Former Sinn Féin TD Carol Nolan, who left the party this summer after she was punished for voting to protect unborn babies’ rights, introduced the amendment.
An October poll by Amárach found that 60 percent of Irish residents oppose taxpayer-funded abortions. In addition, a full 80 percent say health care workers should not be forced to carry out abortions against their conscience.
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Pro-life doctors, nurses, midwives and institutions also are being threatened. The bill would force Catholic hospitals and pregnancy centers to promote or provide abortions against their consciences. In September, Harris confirmed that Catholic hospitals will be forced to abort unborn babies, saying, “… conscientious objection is for individuals, not institutions.”
Earlier in November, the Oireachtas Health Committee slammed down dozens of amendments to moderate the pro-abortion bill. First, it rejected a measure to protect unborn babies from discriminatory sex-selection abortions. Then, it voted down a ban on taxpayer-funded elective abortions. Later, it voted to force pro-life doctors to refer women for abortions, The Times reported.
Some pro-life TDs have said the legislation is much more extreme than what voters wanted when they chose to repeal the pro-life Eighth Amendment in May.
Debate on the bill and more amendments continues this week.