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SPUC calls for opposition to Irish bill seeking to ban pro-life counselling

16 November 2016

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has responded to the news that a bill seeking to regulate crisis pregnancy centres has been accepted for debate in the Irish Parliament tomorrow.

Brendan Howlin, pro-abortion leader of the Labour Party, first introduced the Bill in October. Mr Howlin has used the bill to attack charitable agencies supporting pregnant women, smearing them with gross and derogatory remarks. The government has now allowed the bill to proceed to the second stage, and debate will take place tomorrow, Thursday 17 November. The government is expected to make amendments to the bill, but it is not known what these will be.

The bill's backers are defending their actions by referring to criticism of an individual counsellor made by abortion supporters.

Patrick Buckley, SPUC's representative in Ireland, said:

"This is clearly a desperate and bitter campaign to stop all pro-life counselling. It is about denying women the help and support they need during a pregnancy. The aim of this bill is to ensure that women facing difficulty during pregnancy can be put under pressure to seek abortion.

"A small number of influential pro-abortion doctors want to deny women information about the medical damage abortion inflicts on women. They want to stop counsellors giving women information which is backed up by published research. The law should not be used to censor medical opinions because some doctors don't like it."

"The proposed bill is a draconian measure which seeks to regulate a service out of existence by over-professionalising it," continued Mr Buckley. "Pregnancy counsellors do amazing work to help women in need, often on a voluntary basis. All that this bill will do is leave vulnerable women with nowhere to turn."

"The language being used by Mr Howlin about counsellors is vituperative and nasty - this is a politician's tactic to divert attention away from unborn children and pregnant women - the people who will suffer if this bill becomes law.

"It is vital that this attempt to close down these vital services is opposed at every level," concluded Mr Buckley. "We call on all concerned citizens to contact their TDs, asking them to submit amendments, or better still, vote this bill down altogether."

Notes to Editors

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For further comments or to request an interview, please contact Patrick Buckley on:
  • Mobile: + (353) 872 578 250
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