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Defending life
from conception to natural death


Oireachtas committee voted in favour of removing pro-life Eighth Amendment from Irish Constitution

14 December 2017

The Committee recommended legalising abortion without restrictions up to 12 weeks.  

The Oireachtas committee tasked to examine the report of the Citizens’ Assembly has voted by 14-6 in favour of removing the pro-life Eighth Amendment from the Irish Constitution.

The Oireachtas Committee voted in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment and in favour of a motion to allow terminations without restrictions up to 12 weeks, reports the Irish Independent.
The Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution reads:

"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."

Changes to the Constitution require a referendum, in the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Independent reports that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, speaking in the Dáil, said he would like for a referendum on the abortion issue to be held in May. He said for this to happen, the Government will require the full support of the House.

A decisive step towards abortion

The vote of the Oireachtas Committee is another decisive step towards introducing abortion to Ireland.

The committee has voted that there should be no legal protection for children up to 12 weeks of gestation and has also recommended that abortions should be permitted when a mother’s life, physical health and mental health is at risk or if the baby is diagnosed with a life-limiting condition.

In practice this could open the way for very widespread availability of abortion. We don’t need to look far for examples: the vast majority of abortions (97-98%) in the UK are carried out on mental health grounds – that is to say that nearly 200 000 abortions a year in the UK are carried out on the grounds that continuing the pregnancy entails greater risk to the mental health of the woman than having an abortion.

In reality, abortion brings no improvement to a woman’s mental health. On the contrary, it is a major risk factor for women developing serious mental health problems.

Extensive studies show that abortion significantly increases the risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and self-harm. A recent Finnish study has showed that the mortality rate for suicide after abortion was as much as over six times greater than after giving birth. Killing unborn children through abortion is not healthcare for mothers.

Ireland: excellent safety without abortion

Ireland’s pro-life stance has been a significant obstacle for the progress of the international pro-abortion lobby, powerfully present in the United Nations and other international institutions. Ireland with its excellent record of safety in pregnancy for women, without recourse to abortion, is a major source of embarrassment for abortion campaigners. It contradicts their argument that abortion helps women.

However, international experience also shows that it is almost impossible to turn back, once abortion is legalised. Furthermore, if the Irish people reject their pro-life constitution, which is central to their culture and who they are as a nation, it will make it increasingly difficult for other pro-life countries to resist.

Watch this SPUC video on why the Eighth Amendment must be cherished:


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