Irish committee kills ‘distasteful’ amendment requiring humane burials for aborted babies
IRELAND, November 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In the latest example of Ireland’s new abortion regime developing into something more radical than legalization campaigners let on, a committee of the Irish legislature rejected an amendment Wednesday that would have required humane burials for babies killed by abortion.
A joint health committee in the Oireachtas (legislature) was considering an amendment to the country’s so-called Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy bill, which will establish the country’s new abortion laws after the May repeal of its Eighth Amendment that protected preborn babies’ right to life.
Pro-life TDs sought to require that aborted babies be buried or cremated rather than being treated as medical waste, The Journal reported. They argued that current law is missing guidance for medical personnel as to the handling of dead fetuses, which compounds the stress of post-abortive mothers.
In response, Health Minister Simon Harris condemned the proposal as “extraordinarily distasteful,” invoking rape victims and claiming hospitals already understand how to handle such situations. “I’m not mansplaining that process to anybody, but there’s not a woman in the world who’d want to go through that,” Harris claimed.
“I find it offensive as a woman who’s been in this situation,” added TD Kate O’Connell, who suffered a miscarriage in the past. “I don’t want to inform anybody what I’ve done with my fetal remains.”
Pro-life TDs also want amendments to ban the sale of aborted fetal remains, forbid the taking of abortion pills without medical supervision, and offer women ultrasounds 24 hours before their abortions.
Pro-life lawmakers Mattie McGrath, Carol Nolan, Peter Fitzpatrick, Danny Healy-Rae, and Michael Collins have previously spoken out against Harris, blasting the health minister for refusing to meet with them to address their concerns.
“From the beginning of the entire process that brought us to this point, the government has done everything possible to impede and stand in the way of proper scrutiny of its proposal. This deeply undemocratic approach continues right up to the present day,” they said in a statement. “In order to railroad through its legislation, the government keeps trotting out the line that the public have spoken in the referendum and that as ministers they are simply carrying out the wishes of the public.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” they declared. “The public voted to remove the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution. They did not vote in favour of the Bill in its current form.”
The abortion legalization bill would permit elective abortions for the first 12 weeks, abortions for “risk to the life, or of serious harm to the health, of the pregnant woman” up until viability (including “mental health”), abortions at any point in “emergency” cases of “immediate risk” to the woman’s life or health,” and abortions at any point in cases where doctors diagnose a “condition affecting the foetus that is likely to lead to the death of the foetus either before, or within 28 days of, birth.”
During and since the referendum battle, pro-lifers warned that repeal campaigners’ promise of a “moderate” abortion bill were a smokescreen for more radical designs.
They say these fears have been vindicated by Harris’ previous comments that he wants “free” abortions to be covered by taxpayers and “exclusion zones” to prevent pro-life protests around abortion facilities; and Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar’s calls for forcing pro-life doctors to make abortion referrals and publicly-funded Catholic hospitals to commit abortions.
The Irish Pro-Life Campaign has also released polling finding that 80 percent oppose forcing doctors and other healthcare workers to commit abortions, 79 percent support offering women ultrasound images before abortion, 69 percent want doctors to give life-saving care to babies who survive abortions, 60 percent oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, and a narrow majority opposes mandatory abortion referrals.