Ireland is currently undergoing the greatest battle it has ever faced to keep abortion out of their country, a country which has one of the lowest rates of maternal mortality in the world. The Irish government published the draft legislation on Tuesday night; the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill which the government ‘claim’ aims to simply clarify the current law on abortion. Many media publications are stating that this bill will not change the law or result in an increase in abortion: See the BBC’s article for example – ‘Abortion bill ‘does not change’ Irish law, says Kenny’: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22363459. If you look into it a little closer however, the evidence clearly states otherwise. This is the response given by Pat Buckley, who represents SPUC in Ireland, who said in Dublin today:
“Far from being restrictive as the government claims, the bill has the potential to lead to widespread availability of abortion.
“The Irish bill proposes to abolish sections 58 & 59 of the Offences Against The Person Act 1861, under which abortion in general remains a criminal offence. That provision is retained even in Britain. The vast majority of abortions in Britain are in fact unlawful under the 1861 Act if the Abortion Act was interpreted honestly (instead of being widely flouted).”
Mr Buckley continued: “Regarding abortion for suicidal mothers, the bill goes beyond both the mental health grounds of Britain’s 1967 Abortion Act and of British case-law such as the 1938 Bourne judgment. Unlike British law, the bill makes suicide an explicit, statute-level ground for abortion.
“The bill explicitly removes protection for unborn children before implantation in the womb, thus ensuring that they can be aborted legally by drugs and devices such as the morning-after pill.
“Even the name of the bill “Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013” is misleading and hypocritical, as it does not protect unborn life in a wide variety of circumstances and is contrary to the equal protection for mothers and their unborn children under the Irish Constitution.
“We call upon all Irishmen and women to unite to ensure that this bill is thrown out of the Oireachtas at the first vote. There must be absolute and unequivocal opposition to all abortion expressed loud and clear by church leaders, pro-life groups and politicians. Today must mark the end, not the beginning, of abortion in Ireland”, concluded Mr Buckley.”
There are two things that strike me about this powerful bid to make abortion available in Ireland. The first is that it has happened in response to a lie. Last October Savita Halappanavar, 31, was 17 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to University Hospital Galway. Savita tragically lost her life to sepsis, but the media frenzy around this story falsely led people to believe that she died because she was refused an abortion. The supposed facts of this case have now been shown to be false, with the journalist who first reported on the case even admitting she may have ‘muddled’ the story and that there was actually no evidence most of the things reported were true. There is simply no evidence that an abortion would have saved Savita’s life, further to that, there is no evidence to show that abortion has ever been necessary to save a woman’s life. Dr Peter Boylan, a leading expert in Obstetrics stated in a recent article in the Irish Times that “The facts as produced at the inquest show this tragic case to be primarily about the management of sepsis”.
The second thing that I see is pushing this bill, is the suggestion that abortion is a treatment for women who are suicidal. This is simply another lie which is being used to push this bill forward. The evidence clearly shows that abortion is never an appropriate ‘treatment’ for a woman who is suicidal, please watch this video which shows the medical experts view on this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dTmvgNBq_Q
Youth Defence have released this powerful video today entitled ‘Don’t follow Britain’s failures’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OQsjAefbZA&feature=share&list=UUdc2KB1gi4l8QCHssyY3bsw
This video highlights the reality of what Ireland is facing – and the reality of what the country we live in has allowed to take place over the past 45 years. In this country, almost 8 million children have lost their lives because of abortion. This is a figure and a tragic reality that I simply cannot comprehend, that in the name of ‘women’s rights’ and ‘freedom of choice’ 8 million children have been conceived – but not born. Millions of women and men, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers have been hurt because of abortion. I can’t think of anything that we should be more ashamed of in this country, more sorry for or more willing to try and make history.
Know the facts, know the truth – and please help us create a culture of life, in which every child is protected in their mother’s womb.