At the heart of the current debate about removing the right to life of the unborn child from the Constitution is a question about what kind of society we want to be. We do not have to look far in order to see the country where they have long ago removed the right to life for the unborn child. Our nearest neighbours in Britain have made that mistake, and we are being asked to copy them.
It is rare situation where you can see that your mistakes of your neighbours and they were given the opportunity to avoid repeating them. This is exactly the situation we now find ourselves in in Ireland where the Minister for health has now decided to focus on abortion based on the legal landscape in England and Wales where the Abortion Act 1967 is the law.
Since its introduction in 1967 well over 100,000 abortions are performed each year Britain. The figures show that 98 per cent of the abortions are on the grounds that the pregnancy would carry a risk to the women’s mental health. Last year over 190,000 abortions were performed in the UK.
When the legislation was introduced in 1967 by David Steel he promised that abortions would be rare, and we need to trust doctors to do the right thing. However he has since admitted years after retiring from his ministerial job that he never believed so many abortions would be performed. According to the Office for National Statistics in the UK over 20 per cent of pregnancies end in abortion. That’s one in five!
Is this what we want to see for our country? Surely we know now that the guarantees of the British politicians in 1967 turned out to be hollow how can we trust Minister Simon Harris’ guarantees in 2018?
Sadly the Minister will be well retired before we know the full extent of the damage that his legislation will cause, and like so much out in Ireland nobody will be held to account when the full reality of abortion on demand becomes clear.
In the UK 96 per cent of abortions are funded by the public health service, this places a heavy burden on already stretched medical services. Our current government cannot even manage a crisis in our A&E department, how will they deal with the resources, training, and facilities needed to turn Irish hospitals into abortion providers? The Minister has published no proposals on this point, again we are asked to “trust” him.
It's a mistake to trust the politicians
The big mistake in Britain was to trust that politicians have the situation under control, that they can predict the future and that they understood how the law would end up being abused with such a tragic outcome for women and unborn children. In this country, we are being asked to handover rights to a Government that has shown itself incapable of being trusted.
Despite claims to the contrary particularly in the media, Ireland is one of the safest places in the world for women on there on born children, the World Health Organisation has independently verified that Ireland is safer for women than many countries that already allow abortion.
We have nothing to be ashamed about in this country by protecting unborn children, the Constitution is the right place to protect these rights. Politicians cannot be trusted with fundamental rights, which is why the people in their wisdom placed the Eighth Amendment into the Constitution in the first place.
If we hand the Government over these rights, there are no guarantees that we will not end up in exactly the same position as the United Kingdom in the very near future. After all, in the years after the introduction of abortion in the UK the rate of abortions went up over one hundred per cent.
We haven’t even had a discussion in this country about the lives that have been saved by the Eighth Amendment, yet an independent actuary has shown that over 100,000 lives have been saved since at least the early 1990s by the Eighth Amendment – that’s the entire population of Galway city and its suburbs.
This referendum is not about tragic cases, or even about women who use the abortion pill (which will still be illegal to import if the Government wins ), the Minister chose not to address these issues, instead he opted to introduce abortion without any restriction for the first 3 months and up to 6 months for mental health. This is further than the British law, and is basically a blueprint for abortion on demand.
We owe future generations the most basic right of all, the right to be born – if that right does not exist, no other rights can be guaranteed. If we allow the Minister for Health and the Government to win this referendum they will introduce abortion on demand like the UK, this is what the Minister has promised. We can avoid this tragedy, protect life and keep the Eighth Amendment , which is why I will be voting no on May 25.