Media Release Sunday 27th May 2018
Tyranny of the born over the unborn; a victory for born women over their unborn sisters waiting to be born.
The citizens of Ireland have voted overwhelmingly 66% in a referendum to repeal Article 8 of the Irish constitution. Article 8 was installed in the Constitution in 1983. It 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.
Today is a sad day for humanity, justice and the protection of the right to life of the unborn the weakest and most defenceless member of the human family. Ireland has stood nearly alone in Europe in the courageous defence of life. It has been subject to relentless pressure from the United Nations, the European Union, the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Amnesty International to change its laws to allow for the killing of its children in the womb.
The Catholic Bishops Conference in Ireland stated before the referendum;
The right to life “is not given to us by the Constitution of Ireland or by any law. We have it ‘as of right’, whether we are wealthy or poor, healthy or sick. All human beings have it. For us as a society to now declare that any category of human being should have that right taken from them would be a shocking step. It effectively says that unborn children do not exist or, if they do, they do not count. That is a manifest injustice,” they said.
The bishops said making abortion freely available “desensitises people to the value of every human life. The scientific evidence about the beginning of human life has never been clearer. It is, therefore, a great irony that we in Ireland are for the first time in our history losing our clarity about the right to life of the unborn.”
They also point out that “by using the word ‘choice’ we need to remember that, for the baby waiting to be born, the choice we make can be a matter of life or death.”
“A compassionate society will do all in its power to support and love the mother and baby, and encourage responsible support from fathers,” they said, while it was “our common humanity that convinces us of the right to life of every human being.”
The bishops concluded their statement by inviting “people of faith to pray earnestly that Ireland will ‘choose life’ and that the lives of all women and their unborn children will always be loved, valued, welcomed and respected in this country.
Support for the repeal of Article 8 has had strong support from the Parliamentary opposition parties and the media. The minority government of Fine Gael although opposed to the repeal of Article 8 has pledged to bring a bill to the Irish Parliament that would provide unrestricted access to abortion during the first 12 weeks; subject to medical advice and a period of reflection. After 12 weeks abortion would be permitted if two doctors agreed that the woman’s life is threatened or there could be serious harm to her health. Abortions will not be permitted after the unborn child becomes viable to live outside the womb at 24 weeks.
The repeal of Article 8 now means that the most dangerous place for an Irish person is in its mother’s womb.
It is highly ironic that this contentious referendum was held on the United Nations commemorative day for missing children.
Right to Life