Irish health chief pushes taxpayer abortion funding
DUBLIN, Ireland, June 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- Ireland may soon not only legalize, but subsidize, abortion depending on the final version of a currently under consideration.
The Irish government is evaluating the details of a proposal to legalize elective first-trimester abortions and limited later abortions after the May 25 referendum to repeal the country’s Eighth Amendment guaranteeing a preborn right to life. Health Minister Simon Harris wants it to ensure that government covers the cost of abortions, the Irish Times reported.
The government is currently assessing the feasibility of rolling abortion into the existing Maternity and Infant Scheme, which provides free maternity services from family doctors and hospital obstetricians. The government wants to ensure there is “no barrier to accessing services on the basis of affordability,” government sources told the paper.
Harris is also reportedly interested in exploring whether the Irish government can partially reimburse women who travel to Britain to abort babies with diagnoses of fatal fetal abnormalities.
The abortion legalization plan is currently slated to be presented to the Cabinet for consideration on July 10, with hopes of passing it early in the fall.
Throughout the referendum campaign, pro-lifers warned that legalizing abortion would transform Ireland into a culture where children are exterminated for any number of challenges or imperfections, such as Down syndrome or cleft palates, and that the unnecessary allowances for health exceptions later in pregnancy would ultimately allow late-term abortions in non-emergencies.
The prospect of aborting babies at taxpayer expense is one of two additional extremes not on the ballot May 25. This week, Harris also reportedly called for the final bill to to ban pro-life activists from praying, protesting, or counseling within a certain distance of abortion facilities.
Irish pro-lifers have vowed to continue fighting to protect the preborn, but in the short term the bill is likely to pass in some form, as all of Ireland’s political parties favored repealing the Eighth Amendment.