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Irish Health Minister Simon Harris

DUBLIN, Ireland, November 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) ― An attempt to save Irish taxpayers the indignity of paying for abortion was defeated in Ireland’s parliament yesterday.

Independent TD (or Member of the Irish Lower House of Parliament) Carol Nolan introduced a bill that, if passed, would have legislated that no public money could be used to fund abortion “services” except where there was a risk to the life of the unborn child’s mother.

The bill was debated during the report stage of the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill. According to Radio-Television Ireland (RTÉ), it was the last opportunity for TDs to make amendments to the pro-abortion legislation.

In Nolan’s remarks, she stressed that abortion kills a living human being.

“This is not real healthcare. Real healthcare does not have a victim,” she said. “Hundreds of thousands of women also voted no, and those women like myself are taxpayers with a conscience.”

Simon Harris, the pro-abortion Minister for Health, argued that the government was trying “to make abortion care (sic) free, safe and legal. Are we really suggesting that different women should get different healthcare?”

But another Independent TD supported Nolan. According to the Irish Times, Peadar Tóibín, who like Nolan quit Sinn Féin over the party’s new pro-abortion stance, said people had “come up to him in the street expressing surprise that the service would be state-funded.”

Tóibín also suggested that funding abortion services would mean less money for other parts of the embattled health service.

“If you take €12 million out of one budget to pay for this, it will mean that there are certain operations that won’t happen,” he said.

Yet another Independent TD, Danny Healy Rae, accused the Health Minister of rushing the legislation through the Oireachtas (Irish legislature).

“And you haven't talked to the doctors or midwives or given assurances about anything,” he said.

Healy Rae stated that those who have conscientious objections should be given the right not to carry out “this atrocious act.”

Nolan’s bill was defeated by a vote of 71-21.

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute told LifeSiteNews via email that Nolan and other pro-life TDs have been making “heroic efforts” to try to save some lives by offering amendment to the “cruel and barbaric” abortion bill being rushed through the Parliament by Harris.

“The amendments being proposed by TD Nolan, TD Mattie McGrath,TD Peadar Tóibín, and others include a ban on abortion on disability grounds and a provision for pain relief for the baby in late-term abortions,” she said

Uí Bhriain reported that Nolan’s amendment to spare taxpayers the cost of abortions was met with “bitter and often aggressive resistance from pro-abortion legislators who have a majority in the Dáil.”

“Carol Nolan spoke so powerfully in the Dáíl (Parliament) on this issue, pointing out that abortion was not healthcare since real healthcare doesn’t leave a victim, and asserting that pro-life voters should not be obliged to pay for a horrific procedure which kills a baby. She made such a strong case for the right of the taxpayer to be a conscientious objector that pro-abortion TDs (legislators) attacked her personally, ” Uí Bhriain said.

“Her former party colleague, Louise O’Reilly of Sinn Féin, made an extraordinary attack on Carol Nolan – clearly attempting to silence and intimidate the pro-life deputy by accusing her of having a ‘visceral hatred’ of women,” the pro-life activist continued.

“I think many people might feel that the visceral hatred on display was not coming from Deputy Nolan but from her critics.”

Uí Bhriain was lyrical in her praise for Nolan, who has remained firm in her convictions about the right to life at a time when other Irish politicians have hastily thrown their own away.  

“Carol Nolan is a real inspiration, and a brave, independent, compassionate woman who truly cares for both mother and child, and who won’t be bullied on the issue,”  Uí Bhriain told LifeSiteNews.

“That’s what a strong woman looks like, (and) that’s why my four daughters think she is amazing.”

The Life Institute has been “inundated” with calls today from people who applaud Nolan for standing up to “the abortion extremists” in the Irish Parliament.

They are “also uplifted by the many strong contributions of other pro-life TDs in the Dáil, who are making heroic efforts to save lives in the face of unprecedented and aggressive opposition,” Uí Bhriain said.

Ireland was once of the most pro-life countries in the world. On September 7,1983, a majority of Irish voters agreed by referendum to amend the constitution that would protect the right to life of the unborn child. However, on May 25, 2018, a majority of Irish voters signaled their desire to remove the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution. The Irish government took this as a signal to work for new legislation permitting abortion on demand up to the 12th week of pregnancy or later in the case of disabled children.