Ireland is on its way to becoming one of the most pro-abortion countries in the world.
On Thursday, the Dáil continued to debate a bill 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. The bill also strictly limits conscience protections for medical professionals.
Lawmakers rejected a series of amendments this week that would have provided at least some protections for unborn babies. One amendment would have protected unborn babies from discrimination based on their sex or a disability like Down syndrome.
The Irish Times reports TDs voted 71 to 21 against the amendment after pro-abortion Health Minister Simon Harris claimed it was unnecessary.
“Terminating a pregnancy otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of the Bill is an offence which may be prosecuted. The legislation does not provide for termination of pregnancy to be carried out on the grounds of sex, race or disability,” Harris said.
But his bill does not prohibit the discriminatory abortions either. TD Michael Collins called out Harris’s “spin” and criticized the mainstream media for not fact-checked him on it.
Fellow TD Peadar Tóibín added, “[A] ten year old child studying a Venn diagram in school knows that if abortion is made available for every reason it is available for disability also within that Venn diagram.”
Even nearby England prohibits sex-selection abortions, but Ireland will not. Unborn baby girls particularly tend to be targets of sex-selection abortions, and some countries now are suffering from disproportionately high male populations as a result.
The Dáil also rejected another common-sense amendment that would have ensured babies who are born alive after failed abortions receive medical care, according to the report.
Another amendment which sought to stipulate that a medical practitioner must take all steps to preserve the life of a foetus if it was born alive was defeated by 59 votes to 39.
Independent TD Michael Harty said the amendment was not practical because it was already the case that if a foetus was born alive, “medical ethics would kick in to give every assistance to that baby”.
But the so-called medical ethics that Harty referred to allow for the killing of babies inside the womb. With no law mandating that these babies be cared for if born alive, Ireland is opening the door for even more potential abuses. American medical workers have shared harrowing stories of babies born alive from botched abortions and left to die because there were no laws to protect them.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Irish pro-life doctors, nurses and midwives have been urging the health minister to meet with them to address a severe lack of conscience protections in the law. Without added protections, medical workers could be forced to help abort unborn babies or lose their jobs.
The bill would force Catholic hospitals and pregnancy centers to promote or provide abortions against their consciences as well. In September, Harris confirmed that Catholic hospitals will be forced to abort unborn babies, saying, “… conscientious objection is for individuals, not institutions.”
On Wednesday, Irish lawmakers also voted to force taxpayers to pay for all abortions in the country, despite strong public opposition.
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.
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.