Featured Image
 The Life Institute

DUBLIN, February 10, 2015 ( — Pro-life groups in Ireland have welcomed the defeat of a bill they describe as a “calculated attack on unborn children with disabilities” that was “driven by an obsession with abortion.”

The Life Institute said that the bill, which was proposed by left-wing TD Clare Daly, was not likely to succeed. It was voted down this evening by 104 to 20, but they warned the bill was being used to try to build support for an extension of Ireland's already controversial abortion law.

“Clare Daly’s modus operandi is to bring forward abortion bill after abortion bill, which the media then eagerly use to repeatedly promote abortion, in this instance for children with disabilities. It's a calculated attack, but there's a sense that Daly's apparent obsession with abortion is wearing thin with the public who are now hearing more from parents who want to give their babies life, however severe the disability or short the life expectancy,” said Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute.

Parents whose children have been diagnosed with life-limiting disorders such as anencephaly or Trisomy 13 have said that the abortion bill was not a “progressive answer” for families facing a life-limiting diagnosis for their child.

Every Life Counts spokeswoman Tracy Harkin also said that the language used by Deputy Daly in her bill was “outdated, discriminatory and a threat to all children with a disability.”

Ms Daly's bill sought to legalize abortion for unborn babies with a profound disability, although medical experts have pointed out that there is no agreed definition of so-called “fatal foetal abnormalities,” nor can they “identify an agreed list of conditions that fit into this category.”

“This bill is so far behind the curve when it comes to providing best support for families that it should be rejected out of hand by every progressive person,” said Ms Harkin.

“First of all, it uses the now outdated concept that a child is 'incompatible with life', when the medical literature shows that the term is misleading and offensive and should not be used in counselling.”

“Secondly, the Bill ignores the fact that the most up-to-date research shows that most children diagnosed with a life-limiting condition do live after birth, and that their families are hugely helped by new supports such as perinatal hospice care, which gives the family precious time with their baby.”

“Thirdly, Ms Daly and her fellow campaigners are targeting unborn children with a profound disability, and they are ignoring the evidence that shows there are no agreed list of conditions that fit into this category, meaning that the right to life of all unborn children with a disability comes under threat.”

“A new form of care for families where baby faces a very short life has emerged: perinatal hospice care, and it has made a huge difference to parents where offered,” Harkin said, noting that in one study some 85 percent of families availed of the care where it was made available in one US hospital.

Harkin said that the death of a child was an enormous tragedy for any family and that Clare Daly's abortion bill did not recognize the hurt and lack of healing caused by abortion.