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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Pro life group SPUC reflects on Dail approval of Irish abortion bill

16 July 2013

16 July 2013: The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has issued the following reflection on the Dáil's recent approval of the Irish government's abortion bill:

Irish politicians vote for the introduction of abortion:

The Irish parliament (Dáil Éireann) voted to approve a bill to legalise abortion in the early hours of Friday morning last. Sadly, only 31 of the 166 TDs (MPs) voted against the bill. It will now be considered by the Senate, where further attempts will be made to amend it. It is expected that this process will last for six days. Depending on whether any amendments are agreed, the bill will either return to the Dáil to be finalised, or, if it remains unamended, will be sent directly to the President for signature.

The bill has attracted criticisms for the grounds on which it has been introduced, the dishonesty of its promoters, and the likely effects it will have.

Grounds of introduction:

The background reasons for the introduction of the legislation relate back to the Supreme Court decision in the 'X Case', and the subsequent decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the 'A, B & C Case'. However, the current bill was introduced on the basis of media frenzy following the death of a mother in pregnancy. This frenzy was despite the fact that Ireland without abortion has consistently been one of the safest countries in world to give birth (e.g. much safer that the US and the UK).

The proposed legislation is the result of a long-term campaign by political parties and organisations with an ideological commitment to promote abortion without regard to health indications. Organisations such as the Labour Party, Doctors for Choice, IPPF (of which the Irish Family Planning Association is an affiliate) and others.

Dishonesty of the promoters:

The title of the bill misrepresents the content. It is called the "Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill", but it aims to legalise the killing of unborn babies in Ireland.
The bill repeals the statutory ban on abortion in sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. These are the main provisions that give effect to the constitutional protection of unborn children inscribed in the Irish Constitution. The attempt within the legislation to replace the 1861 Act is unsatisfactory.
Fine Gael, the major government party, in bringing forward this legislation has reneged on assurances given before the last election that it would not legislate for abortion.

Likely effects of enacting the bill:

By allowing abortion to be authorised for a threat or fear of suicide, the bill invites long-term widespread abuse.
The supposed safeguard of multiple doctors’ signatures has proved no bar to doctors offering abortion on demand in the UK. Most abortions are said to be necessary for mental health, but abortion aggravates mental health problems.

Medics, including family doctors, nurses and midwives, who refuse to help kill unborn children on grounds of conscience (and also refuse to help arrange for someone else to do so) will be in breach of this law and subject to undefined consequences. Forcing people to act against their conscience is a further indication of the barbarity and intolerance behind this bill.

The bill will lead to health officials driving forward a radical pro-abortion regime.

SPUC's communications department can be contacted on:

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