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Why I am voting NO tomorrow

Posted by Dana Rosemary Scallon on 24 May 2018

Dana: For the sake of future generations of Irish children and their mothers, Ireland must vote no.

Dana Rosemary Scallon, internationally famous singer, member of the European Parliament, and Irish presidential candidate, explains why she'll be voting No in Ireland's abortion referendum tomorrow.  

Be under no illusion, the removal of the 8th Amendment will lead to abortion on demand in Ireland and will change us as a nation.

Ireland’s Constitution guarantees the Fundamental Human Right to be born. No amount of debate, argument or legal discussion can detract from the true fact that abortion is the taking of innocent life. Tragically abortion on demand appears to be the intention of Irish Party leaders and Government Ministers. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tanaiste Simon Coveney and Minister for Health, Simon Harris publicly stated their pro-life positions in the 2013 Parliamentary election. Minister Harris, along with then Taoiseach Enda Kenny, gave their personal commitments not to legislate for abortion. This was obviously a lie. Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone, has called for repeal of the 8th and for abortion legalisation to enable “legal and freely available abortion”. I believe this is an astonishing statement from a Minister for Children.

Politicians abandoning the unborn

As well as being a politician, Taoiseach Varadkar is a medical doctor. He knows what will happen to both the mother and the defenceless baby in her womb as he has publicly stated that legalising abortion not only ends the life of the unborn, but it also puts women at risk, "as a woman can die as a result of a termination, can be injured or even lose their fertility".

Micheal Martin, the leader of Fianna Fáil, the main opposition party, has no opposition at all as he presides over the dismantling of the Irish Constitution and gives his total support to Abortion on demand.  Labour and Sinn Fein are like the shifting sands, but united in their desire for the removal of the only Constitutional and legal protection available to the unborn child in Ireland.

Why this dramatic political about-turn by so many Oireachtas members? There is, of course, the usual long-standing pressures from the EU, the UN, as well as a well-funded and powerful lobby in the world-wide multi-billion dollar abortion industry.  Perhaps, however, the answer lies closer to home; is it not true that pro-abortion feminists both inside and outside Leinster House and in the media are bullying anyone, including TDs and Senators into submission and silence?

Nothing feminist about abortion

Feminist pioneers such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Victoria Woodhull, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Alice Paul all considered abortion to be an evil forced upon women.  In fact, Alice Paul stated that abortion was the "ultimate exploitation of women”. In particular, she worried about female babies being aborted. These women were unashamedly prolife and true feminists. They spoke on behalf of the disenfranchised and underprivileged, not least the child in the womb.

The Right to Life is a fundamental Human Right. No matter how much some wish to legislate this away, it is a self-evident right for all human beings, no matter how small. And lest we forget, where abortion is legalised, the shadow of euthanasia soon follows. These are the type of consequences we must face now in Ireland if we lose our respect for life at its earliest stages.

A perversion of medicine

Ireland is still recognised internationally as a nation that cherishes children. Our healthcare is also acknowledged to be one of the safest in the world for both mother and baby. So why are we in such a hurry to change our laws?  Granted our health service is always in need of more investment and restructuring, but once you’re “in the system” I don’t believe anyone would deny that our nurses and doctors provide the highest standard of care possible. The doctors and nurses who have chosen to train in Ireland have been taught the Hippocratic Oath, the philosophical bedrock of medicine. As Dr James Reilly, a former Minister of Health, stated at the opening of the 2009 Fine Gael Ard Fheis, "the Oath specifies the pivotal responsibility for every doctor in four words- FIRST: DO NO HARM".

Should we vote to remove the 8th Amendment, the training our doctors and nurses receive in our medical colleges will be contrary to their profession’s own ethical code. Instead, they will have been instructed in the various macabre methods used to deliberately kill an unborn child. In addition, we, the citizens of Ireland, without regard to our conscience, will be obliged to contribute to this training via our taxes, as well as also having to pay through taxation for the provision of abortion in Irish hospitals.

No expectant mother has ever been denied the healthcare she needed in our country, even when that treatment resulted in the unintentional death of her child. To use the tragic deaths of women in order to promote abortion on demand is misleading and unfeeling. They did not die because of the 8th Amendment, but because of tragic circumstances such as sepsis or misdiagnosis, or most tragic of all, because of the poor standard of their antenatal care. Ireland needs to wake up to the fact that these tragic exceptions are the "hard cases" that, inevitably, will make "poor laws" that will allow the killing of perfectly healthy babies from perfectly healthy mothers.

Mothers need love and support, not abortion

If there is a crisis pregnancy, a mother must be provided with the support she needs to bring her child into the world. For whatever reason, if a mother feels she cannot raise her child, there are many Irish couples who would give anything to be able to adopt. There is no reason to deliberately kill an innocent, unborn child. No doctor can state emphatically that an unborn baby will have “no quality of life” and, therefore, should die before birth. I personally know of a mother who was given this very diagnosis in three pregnancies and subsequently gave birth to three perfectly healthy babies.

A young mother spoke to me of how she dealt with her grief, her sense of bereavement on being told her baby would not survive after birth. She said she found strength when her obstetrician told her he would care for both her and her baby as valued patients. Then as she moved to the next stage of grief; acceptance, she realised that the life time of her baby would be in her womb, that his life had value and she would love and provide for her baby for as long as he lived. Her son lived for seventeen minutes after his birth. During that time his family held him, knew and loved him and said their goodbyes. She said that this precious time helped them in their healing and in giving closure to his loss and that he remains a much loved member of their family.

Where's the baby in this referendum?

To fully inform the people of Ireland in the forthcoming referendum, why could our national broadcasters not broadcast a video of a twelve-week-old baby in the womb? On 25 May our decision will decide the fate of such babies. Haven’t we lost too many of our children already through immigration, or because of the Troubles, or other forms of violence? Don’t let us lose our future generations of children by a misinformed stroke of the pen in a polling booth. As a nation we rejected the Death Penalty for any crime no matter how serious, let us not vote to impose the death penalty on innocent, defenceless babies.

Protect the unborn

Unjust laws are incompatible with Ireland’s Constitution and I believe with the Irish people.  Just because politicians pass a law doesn’t make it morally right. Abraham Lincoln said: "If slavery is not wrong then nothing is wrong". Today we must say: if abortion is not wrong then nothing is wrong.

Tomorrow, on 25 May, in order to retain our constitutional protection of the mother and her unborn child, I will vote: "No".  For the sake of future generations of Irish children and their mothers, for the sake of our nation, I urge you to vote: NO

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