Ireland lower house passes permissive abortion law 127-31
DUBLIN, July 12, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - At 12.30 a.m. local time the Irish parliament voted 127-31 in favor of legislation that allows abortion through all nine months of pregnancy where the life of the mother is at risk which notably includes if the mother threatens suicide.
Speaking outside the Dáil today, Clare Molloy of the pro-life group Youth Defence described it as a “dark day for Ireland when the legislature close their ears to the medical evidence, turn their backs on the electorate to which they promised no abortion legislation, and have now legalised the death penalty for innocent unborn children."
“This bill is barbaric,” said Ms. Molloy. "As Labour TD Roisin Shortall has pointed out, it has no term limits. It allows for the direct killing of a physically healthy baby being carried by a physically healthy mother and allows it through all nine months of pregnancy."
She continued, “what kind of politician or doctor approves the killing of a fully formed human being at 22 weeks by lethal injection to the heart. Our leading doctors are opposing this legislation; because, as one if them told the Oireachtas Committee, the Bill legalises the mindless assassination of innocent human beings."
“We know that abortion is not a treatment for suicide, the psychiatrists are blue in the face from telling Enda Kenny that, but yet he chooses to ignore this evidence and says his hands are tied by the Supreme Court decision in the X Case. It is now clear that that decision was fundamentally flawed because we didn’t have the evidence that we now know. Clean out your ears Taoiseach, if a decision is wrong then we shouldn’t follow it. The people are the final courts of appeal in this democracy and 86% of us want a referendum,” Ms. Molloy concluded.
Abuse of such a 'life of the mother' loophole in the law was demonstrated last year in Northern Ireland where abortions performed “to save the mother’s life” are rampant. Recently released data show that there were more abortions sanctioned as a procedure to save a mother’s life in Northern Ireland in the past two years, than in England and Wales combined over a 40-year period.
Pro-life groups strongly condemned the government’s decision to ram through its flawed abortion legislation, labeling it as a “betrayal of unborn children, a betrayal of a party promise and a betrayal of the Irish people.”
Admiration was expressed for the deputies who had put principle before politics to vote No to the bill, while other politicians have been described as 'spineless and amoral' for breaking their pro-life promise.
Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute said Prime Minister Enda Kenny was acting in an “autocratic and bullying manner and had trampled all over conscience rights by denying a free vote within his party on an issue that was deeply conscientious and on which strong views were held."
She went on to say that the electorate would not forget the vindictive action taken by Mr Kenny in inflicting such harsh sanctions and penalties on those party colleagues who dared to defy his authoritarian whip.
“It disgusts me that the Taoiseach would demand that his party colleagues should vote in favour of this horrific and fundamentally flawed piece of legislation and threaten them with being thrown out of the party if they fail to do so. What kind of a leader is he? What kind of a leader throws a colleague out of the party for doing exactly what they told their electorate they were going to do before election?” Ui Bhriain said.
Only five members of the majority Fine Gael party dared to break ranks and as a result were automatically expelled from the party.
Lucinda Creighton, one of those who voted against the abortion bill, resigned from her position as Ireland’s European Affairs Minister, saying the government broke a commitment to keep Ireland free of abortion.
"It's very disappointing and I would rather that I wasn't here. For me, this is a very important piece of legislation, one which is against a commitment that we made at the last election - a promise had been made, a very fundamental promise - on abortion.
"I just felt that I couldn't remove from that promise that we made at the last election," she told RTE News.
Both the Life Institute and Youth Defence have called for the Bill to be put to the people in a referendum under Article 27 of the Irish Constitution.
The pro-life groups said the huge Rally for Life which attracted 60,000 people last weekend, showed that the pro-life movement was committed and mobilized and would be now open to the new political alternative created by Kenny's abortion bill.
Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said at the rally, “If you refuse, Taoiseach (Prime Minister), to let the people vote, then the people will be heard. 100,000 people have already signed the pro-life pledge, 100,000 will seek to build a new political alternative, 100,000 will remember Taoiseach, that if you ram through this law, you are the abortion Taoiseach and Fine Gael is the abortion party, and they will seek an alternative which protects both mother and baby.”
“This is not just about abortion, it’s about democracy and letting the people decide on this hugely important issue. A recent Amárach poll told us that a huge 86 per cent of people supported the right of the people to decide the issue by referendum,” she added.
Former presidential candidate and MEP Dana Rosemary Scallon blasted the government and the prime minister, saying, Enda Kenny’s assertion that he has “a duty and responsibility to legislate” for abortion was “totally unfounded,” and echoed calls for a national referendum on the issue.
"There is no legal or constitutional obligation for Enda Kenny or any other politician to legislate for the deliberate killing of an unborn child and there is no medical evidence to support this radical change to how we treat our mothers and their children," Scallon told the Irish Times.
She said the government must respect “the democratic and constitutional right of the people” to have the final say on the matter by referendum.
Paschal Donohoe, who was appointed Minister of State for European Affairs after Lucinda Creighton resigned from the post, suggested that the contentious abortion legislation be referred to the Supreme Court for a ruling on its constitutionality.
"One of the issues that has infused this debate is this question regarding the exact constitutionality of this bill and I do believe that it is in the interests of all concerned that that should be precisely answered. I would welcome a speedy adjudication on that," Donohoe said, according to an Independant.ie report.
The legislation will now go to the Irish Senate where it is expected to pass. It will then be brought to President Michael D Higgins who will sign it into law.