Unborn babies now can be legally aborted in Ireland.
On Thursday, President Michael D. Higgins signed the country’s new pro-abortion law, RTE reports.
The legislation, which passed parliament earlier this month, allows abortions for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to six months in a wide variety of circumstances. It also will force taxpayers to pay for abortions and force Catholic hospitals to provide them. The bill also strictly limits conscience protections for medical professionals, and hundreds of doctors and nurses fear being forced to help abort unborn babies or lose their jobs.
Health Minister Simon Harris, who pushed the pro-abortion legislation, called Thursday an “historic day” for Ireland, according to Newstalk.
He wants hospitals to begin abortions Jan. 1, but many have said they are not ready. Leading medical professionals have said beginning abortions in less than two weeks could put women’s lives at risk. They pointed to a lack of ultrasound machines, clinical guidelines and trained staff as reasons for delay, but pro-abortion political leaders have refused to back down.
On Wednesday, the Irish College of General Practitioners still was seeking answers to basic questions about the law. RTE reports the group provided interim clinical guidelines for abortion to its GPs, but it also wrote to Harris “to express concerns over the lack of clarity around referral pathways to hospital care …” It also mentioned pro-life doctors’ concerns about being forced to help abort unborn babies against their consciences.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International, which received money from American billionaire George Soros to push abortion on the Irish people, celebrated the pro-abortion law Thursday. Spokeswoman Sorcha Tunney told Dublin’s 98FM that Higgins’ signature was “both a historical milestone for this country and an inspiration for millions of people globally.”
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“Ireland’s abortion law was one of the most restrictive in the world, and today that is finally ending,” she said.
For decades, Ireland was a strong, pro-life nation that protected every human life from conception to natural death. It also was a strong protector of women, with some of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world.
But in May, voters approved repealing the country’s pro-life Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, and pro-abortion politicians began pushing the radical pro-abortion bill.
Polls indicate a strong majority of Irish voters do not support the new law. 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.
Parliament rejected a number of common-sense amendments that have strong public support. These included amendments to require parental consent for girls under 16, to ban sex-selection abortions and taxpayer-funded abortions, to require basic medical care for infants born alive after botched abortions. They also rejected an amendment to provide better conscience protections for doctors.
Just how many unborn babies may be killed in Ireland annually is uncertain, but about 3,000 Irish women travel to England or Wales every year for abortions, according to government statistics.