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Former Irish Prime Minister John BrutonFlickr

DUBLIN, Ireland, March 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A former Prime Minister of Ireland has asked voters to reject the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, the part of the Irish Constitution that protects the right to life of the unborn.

The referendum, which the current Irish government hopes will abolish the Eighth Amendment, take place in May.

John Bruton said that Ireland should be “proud” that it protects the unborn and suggested that removing that protection would not be very Irish.

“To arbitrarily say that, after whatever number of weeks, it’s OK to suppress that life is just not in accordance with the values of charity towards the weak in our communities that have exemplified the Irish over the last many centuries,” he said.

“It’s true that we are probably one of the few countries in the world that has, in our constitution, an express recognition of the right to life of the unborn child, but that’s something we should be proud of,” Bruton asserted.

The Irish Times reported that Bruton, who was the Prime Minister, or Taoiseach, from 1994 to 1997, made his remarks after attending the episcopal ordination of the new Bishop of Ossory, Dermot Farrell. He had been the leader of Fine Gael, the party that is now bent on removing the Eighth Amendment.

Bruton said that he would not “be voting in favor of repeal” and wouldn’t predict the referendum results. However, he focused on the humanity of the unborn child.

“Clearly there are divided opinions about this,” he said. “I think if you accept that a child, before birth, is human, then you have to ask yourself as a human, does it have human rights? If it is to have human rights, then surely the first right it must have is the right to life.”

The former Taoiseach has consistently spoken out on behalf of the unborn and the constitutional amendment that protects them. In 2013, Bruton wrote an editorial against allowing the threat of suicide to be used as grounds for abortion in the Republic.