Irish pro-life campaigners welcome US Congressmen’s letter urging no change to abortion law
DUBLIN, September 24, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-life campaigners have responded to a letter sent to the Irish government by a group of pro-life US legislators, urging them to reject calls to overturn the country’s constitutional protections for the unborn.
The letter raised questions about the recently-appointed expert group, assembled by the Health Minister to make a recommendation on how to respond to a European Court of Human Rights ruling that Ireland must “clarify” its law. Pro-life campaigners working to protect the country’s pro-life constitution, were gravely concerned at the pro-abortion record of some of the members of the group.
These concerns were echoed by the letter from the US that said, “The composition of the expert group seems predisposed to issue recommendations that infringe on the right to life, rather than a simple clarification.”
“The absence of experts of known pro-life views and the presence of some of known pro-abortion views were especially noted,” the letter continues. The 17 Congressmen say Ireland is “an example to the world” in refusing to create legalized abortion.
Today the Dublin and European Union representative for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children told LifeSiteNews.com that the suspicions of the US legislators are well founded.
“I must agree with the group when they express their concern about the composition of the expert group appointed by Dr James Reilly. I share that concern,” said SPUC’s Patrick Buckley.
Buckley said that Reilly has revealed his own pro-abortion bias by appointing the members of the group and in later comments on a private members bill tabled by socialist deputy Clare Daly. Daly’s bill proposed, among other things, to jail pro-life sidewalk counsellors who talked to women entering abortion facilities.
Most worrying, Buckely said, was Reilly’s appointment of Tony O’Brien, former Chief Executive of the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA), as the new head of Ireland’s Health Service Executive. The IFPA is an affiliate of International Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the world.
“I call on Dr. Reilly to resign with immediate effect and on the Irish Government to dismiss Tony O’Brien forthwith,” Buckley said.
To accusations that the letter is an example of American interference in the Irish abortion debate, Buckley responded, “There is no doubt in my mind that the pro-abortionists will shriek about ‘outside interference’. However carefully they cloak the outside interference by different arms of the international abortion movement such as the Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and International Planned Parenthood, which were both deeply involved in the A,B and C case that caused the current crisis.”
“This statement, by US politicians who have long experience of the evils of abortion and who do not want to see other nations making similar mistakes, is welcome,” Buckley added.
Niamh Uí Bhriain, of the Life Institute, also commented, “Obviously those who have lived with the effects of Roe v. Wade for 40 years realise the enormity of the mistake Ireland would make if our government moves to legalise abortion.”
“While this is a matter for the Irish people, the government appears to be bowing to pressure from the European Court in relation to our pro-life laws. They need to look at the experience of other countries, such as Britain, where an abortion-on-demand regime now means that unborn children have no right to life whatsoever.”
Rebecca Roughneen of Youth Defence, that has been running a well-received education campaign raising public resistance to abortion, said that it was “absolutely shameful” that the Irish government was considering “upending” Ireland’s pro-life laws.
“This letter rightly points out that Ireland has been a light to the world because our laws protect both mother and baby. We have an excellent record in maternal healthcare because our medical practitioners care for both patients in a pregnancy.”
“Why would any rational government want to overturn that record of excellence for the medieval medicine of abortion?”
“It is our hope Ireland remains staunchly pro-life and continues to give this vital example in Europe and throughout the world.”
The Irish government, plagued by an ongoing economic crisis and disastrous polling, has got its hands full and is facing a storm of unwanted controversy over the abortion issue. Opposition party Fianna Fail has said it will oppose any changes to the law and of the two ruling parties in the coalition, a number of backbenchers have also pledged to oppose. The Labour Party, junior partner in the coalition, is the only party that openly supports and promotes legalised abortion.
Labour leaders have frequently repeated the slogans of the abortion industry, saying that abortion must be legal in cases where it is needed to save a mother’s life. A symposium of maternal medicine experts met in Dublin, however, and issued a statement earlier this month that there is no such thing as a medical necessity of abortion.