DUBLIN, April 25, 2013 ( – A photograph of the text of the proposed bill allowing “limited” abortion shows that the Irish government is fully aware that legalizing abortion means allowing “unborn human life” to be “destroyed.” The bill is set to go before Cabinet for approval next week and the government has said it is hopeful that it will be passed into law before the summer recess.


The photo has been leaked and shows a portion of the bill giving the conditions under which direct abortion – that is, the intentional direct killing of an unborn child – will be allowed for women threatening suicide.

It must be done “at an appropriate location” that includes provision of mental health services and one obstetrician and two psychiatrists must sign off. It must be their “reasonable opinion” that there is a “real and substantial risk of loss of the pregnant woman’s life from self-destruction.”

They must also assert that “this risk can only be averted by medical procedure in the course of which or as a result of which unborn human life is destroyed.”

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said, “I’ve said to the Dáil that we would like to see the legislation enacted before the Dail rises for the summer, that’s to give as much time as is practical and is needed.”

The legislation has been under fierce debate in Ireland since it was introduced. It has been rejected by the Irish Medical Organization (IMO), which voted against legalizing abortion earlier this month.

Dr. Seán Ó Domhnaill of the Life Institute, a consultant psychiatrist who attended the conference said, “It’s a serious blow to the government’s proposals. As doctors, we are trained to save lives, and most Irish doctors want to continue with the practice of protecting both mother and baby in pregnancy.”

A group of psychiatrists has strongly refuted the claim that abortion can be a treatment for any psychological illness, including severe depression with suicidal ideation.

Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute told that, while the wording in the bill is “horrific” and clearly opposes both the language and the sense of the Constitution, its very horror will help alert the Irish public about the government’s real intentions.

She called the language “not just horrendous, it is obscene,” particularly because it proposes abortion as a treatment for suicidal intentions. “Yet Fine Gael are hell bent on allowing babies to be 'destroyed' on this pretext,” she said.

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“In one way it’s dreadful,” Ui Bhriain said. “On the other hand, what we have now is a situation where we can inform people that the government has written down, in black and white, that they want to destroy unborn children.”

Under the current wording of the Irish Constitution, doctors must take into account the right to life of the unborn child, though it allows for early inducement of labour when the mother’s life is threatened. The 1983 amendment says, “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

The bill brought forward by health minister James Reilly, follows the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling in 2010 in the A, B, and C case that the government must “clarify” the circumstances in which an abortion could be carried out, despite the fact that the law does not allow at all for direct killing of the child.

Ui Bhriain said that the bill is causing chaos in the coalition government, with a group of Fine Gael TDs insisting that abortion remain illegal and coalition partner Labor insisting that the bill does not go far enough. “They’re in disarray,” she said. “The government is tearing itself apart on this issue because there’s no public demand for it at all.” Fine Gael TDs have reportedly told the Prime Minister that they fear losing their seats over the issue at the next election.