As Ireland faces intense pressure to legalize abortion, Catholic Bishop Kevin Doran reminded the country that doctors’ jobs are to heal, not kill.
Ireland’s Eighth Amendment protects unborn babies’ right to life. However, abortion activists and some of the world’s richest men have been pushing the pro-life country to repeal the amendment and legalize abortion on demand.
Speaking to the national debate, Doran emphasized that a healthcare professional’s job never is to “intentionally bringing about the death of the patient, either by some action or by failing to act.”
Doran, the chair of the Bishops’ Group on Bioethics and Life in Ireland, made the remarks during a conference on abortion this week, according to the Irish Independent.
Here’s more from the report:
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Bishop Doran asked why it is assumed that medical staff whose whole focus in life is healthcare should be prepared to take life through abortion.
“There is nothing in the ethos of healthcare that would remotely suggest that doctors or nurses should be involved in killing,” he said.
… Questioning the use of prenatal diagnosis, he warned that it was increasingly being used as a means of “screening out babies who, in the eyes of adults, should not be brought to birth”.
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“Unborn children are people too; so why would unborn children with disability be discriminated against by someone making a decision that they shouldn’t live?” he asked the Irish Independent.
Legalizing abortion in Ireland will cause more women and children to suffer and die. Pro-lifers estimate that the Eighth Amendment has saved approximately 100,000 unborn babies’ lives from abortion in Ireland.
In September, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that a referendum vote on abortion will be held in May or June of 2018.
The vote is scheduled just prior to Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families. Abortion activists are afraid that the Catholic leader’s visit could influence voters to support unborn babies’ right to life.
Polls indicate Irish voters do not want abortion on demand. A recent poll by the Irish Times/Iposos MRBI found that just 24 percent of voters said they would support a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment and legalize abortion for any reason up to 22 weeks of pregnancy.
The wording echoes a Citizens’ Assembly recommendation to allow abortions for any reason up to 12 weeks and up to 22 weeks for “socioeconomic” reasons, which basically means any reason. Their proposal also would legalize abortions up until birth in cases of fatal fetal anomalies, The Journal reports.
However, there is some support for a limited legalization of abortion. According to the poll, 57 percent of voters would support a referendum to legalize abortions in cases of rape, fatal fetal anomalies or threats to the mother’s life.