|Enda Kenny, Irish PM|
As I told the media this afternoon, the expert group's report is based on the erroneous judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the A, B & C case. That judgment not only misrepresented the European Convention on Human Rights, but also failed to respect Ireland’s national sovereignty by unilaterally misinterpreting the Irish Constitution's protection of the right to life. The case was never about helping women faced with a crisis pregnancy. It was instigated by the international pro-abortion lobby, which has the ultimate aim of forcing governments across the globe to recognise access to abortion as a legal right.
This report is undemocratic. It fails to suggest as an option consulting the Irish people through a referendum. Conversely, it suggests proposals which the Irish people rejected in the 2002 referendum, namely repealing the ban on abortion in the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. Also, it is an outrageous violation of the consciences of parliamentarians for Enda Kenny to threaten to suspend any Fine Gael TD who will not vote to legislate for abortion. One despairs of politicians like Mr Kenny, who fail to respect basic human rights, such as conscientious objection and the right to life of all members of the human family, including the unborn.
Any Irish parliamentarian who votes for this report will be giving-in to unelected judges in Strasbourg who have tried to usurp the Irish people's constitutional right to decide on abortion. The Irish Supreme Court ruled that the Irish Constitution trumps the European Convention on Human Rights, because the Convention is not part of Irish law and therefore not directly applicable in Irish cases. (McD. -v- L. & anor, 10 Dec 2009 http://bit.ly/g5k35B )
In the A, B & C case, the court confused abortion with healthcare. The Irish Constitution does not confer any right to abortion, nor can the right to life of unborn children be seen as in any competition with their mother's equally inalienable right to life, or with life-affirming healthcare. Ireland has one of the world's best record for maternal health. Abortion does not treat or cure any medical condition.
Not only is abortion not genuine healthcare, but in Irish law it is a criminal offence. It would be wholly wrong for a criminal offence to be 'regulated'. If the expert group's report is implemented, it would in fact allow abortion in a wide range of circumstances. It would 'medicalise' abortion, introducing structures and procedures which will allow doctors to approve abortions as a matter of routine, then carry them out at designated facilities.
Once abortion is allowed in one case, there is no compelling logic against allowing abortion in every case.
We call upon all people of good-will in Ireland, including the Catholic bishops, to back an all-out campaign to defeat - not just amend - any options allowing abortion. This will require widespread resistance to be mobilised. Ireland's politicians should be put on notice that they will lose their seats at the next election if they vote to legislate for abortion.
Also see SPUC's release yesterday "Expert report could lead to British-style abortion system, warns SPUC"
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