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Defending life
from conception to natural death


New petition against Irish "death referendum" launched

5 April 2017


A new petition has been launched, calling on the Irish government to resist any calls to hold a referendum on the Eighth Amendment.

The petition, made by The Citizens Initiative for the Protection of Human Life (CIPHL) and directed to Members of the Oireachtas, Ireland's parliament, begins:

The right-to-life is non-negotiable and can never be subject to a vote. Therefore, we the undersigned, petition members of the Oireachtas to reject all calls to hold a referendum on the repeal, or alteration, of the pro-life Eighth Amendment. Holding such a referendum would open the way for the elimination of the legal protection of the right-to-life and, consequently, to the killing of Ireland’s unborn children by abortion.

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The Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution was introduced to prevent the violation of the right-to-life of unborn children by abortion. The amendment protects the lives of mothers and unborn children equally. It states:

"The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right."

International pro-abortion activists are campaigning to strip away this protection from Ireland’s mothers and children. In October 2016 a “Citizens Assembly”, convened by the Irish government, began its discussion of the future of the Eighth Amendment. It is considered likely that the assembly, which is due to report in June 2017, will propose a referendum on the repeal or alteration of the Eighth Amendment.

Right to life most fundamental human right

The description goes on:

The right-to-life is the most fundamental of all human rights and is recognised by international law. Ireland is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which affirms that "the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth."

The Irish state has a moral and legal obligation to protect the human rights of everyone within its jurisdiction. It is the duty of the state to recognise the right-to-life and ensure its protection in law. No state, no legislature, no assembly, regardless of public opinion, can abrogate or deny fundamental human rights.

Any attempt to limit, nullify or deny the right to life of children before birth is wholly illegitimate.

All calls to hold a referendum must be rejected by Irish lawmakers and by the Irish people.

Unequivocal defence of life

Maria Madise, SPUC's International Director, welcomed the petition, saying: "It is heartening to see such an unequivocal defence of the Eighth Amendment and the right to life of the unborn child being brought before the public in Ireland. We would encourage our supporters with family and friends in Ireland to share this as widely as possible. Ireland should be proud of its constitutional defence of the unborn – Britain’s shameful legacy of 50 years of legalised abortion is not something to imitate."

Sign the petition! 

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