to Ireland’s referendum on the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution which gives equal protection to mother and child and which it’s proposed will be replaced with unrestricted no questions asked medical abortion to 12 weeks and to birth for life limiting conditions (so called fatal foetal abnormalities). And as of today an Irish version of British abortion law: a ban on abortions post viability / 24 weeks.
This post is in 3 parts:
(1): Sr. Briege McKenna’s appeal for Masses for Ireland and protection of the 8th.
(2): As of today, abortions after viability, so after 24 weeks will now be banned.
(3): Opposition leader Micheál Martin: The past is a foreign country:
His overseeing of at least 3 million euros for abortions in Ethiopia.
(1): SR BRIEGE MCKENNA’S APPEAL:
FOR MASSES FOR IRELAND AND FOR THE 8TH AMENDMENT.
Everyday, we promote Sr. Briege McKenna’s appeal for Masses to be said privately or publicly in parishes in reparation for Ireland’s turning from God and for protection of the 8th amendment. Please consider getting Masses said locally or through this link to ACN:
http://www.acnireland.org/masses or call 018377516.
Alternatively Human Life International Ireland have a 1000 Mass campaign for protection of the unborn and reparation for Ireland’s turning from God
Most importantly: can you with other parishioners organise one or more Masses / half-days or days of prayer with medically safe fasting in your parish?
(2): A CYNICAL MOVE: Ban of abortions to viability:
The latest as of today: the Irish government has had to back-step on the campaign for total decriminalisation of abortion to birth. There will now apparently be a ban on abortions on mental / physical health grounds past the point of viability so 23 / 24 weeks.
This is an amendment to try to push the repeal vote, which in opinion polls had dropped by 10 points last week, which is quite a drop in one week. Previously the government proposed that after 12 weeks, abortions could be done on mental / physical health risk grounds with no upper limit. Of course, prior to today’s announcement, the government was stating that abortions after 12 weeks, would have to be signed off by two doctors and the matter then would be decided between the doctors and the woman and then according to best medical practice.
Another reason this could have happened is because of a report by Eilis O’ Regan in the Irish Independent, showing 83 Irish women aborted Down’s babies after 24 weeks in the UK over a 2 week period. Simon Harris who’d previously stated it was offensive to even suggest Irish women would abort babies for Down’s syndrome at all, had to climb down and say that the women in question wouldn’t have taken the decision lightly. But it all made for uncomfortable reading and so the first obviously reluctant limitation to offset further fall out in the opinion polls: a time limit of viability and a ban on abortions above this limit. If under the ubiquitous mental health risk (used and abused to justify almost 9 million social abortions in the UK) abortions in Ireland are not now done by 24 weeks, well it won’t be Varadkar or Harris’ fault.
(3): MICHEÁL MARTIN’S PRO-CHOICE PAST: A REVIEW AND HIS DIRECT FUNDING OF ABORTIONS IN ETHIOPIA:
REVIEW: Yesterday we looked at Micheál Martin’s volte face on the abortion issue (at least publicly) and his total disregard for his party colleagues whom he’d met with the night before his speech on the matter of the 8th amendment. They were not informed of his conversion to unrestricted abortion, save perhaps for those five members, whom he appointed to the oireachtais / cross-party parliamentary committee on abortion, who voted to repeal or replace the 8th to greater or lesser degrees.
Despite the overwhelming vote to save the 8th at the AGM October last year by rank and file members (see photo from yesterday) and the previous public statements by most Fianna Fail elected representatives that they were pro-life, Martin nominated five who were in favour of allowing for abortion in at least limited circumstances to the committee which would require replacing / repealing the 8th.
Yesterday we also noted, that as far back as 2013 during the vote on the so called ‘Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill’ to permit abortion under the x case for suicidal ideation/ threats (despite the complete absence of any medical evidence to back that up), Martin and his second in command, pro-abortion Billy Kelleher, attempted to impose the whip / remove a free vote like the then Taoiseach / Prime Minister Enda Kenny did on his Fine Gael elected representatives.
When the members revolted at a meeting of the parliamentary party and the party whip and others threatened to walk if he pushed them to vote one way or the other on the bill ( the official party position was pro-life), he had to resort to plan B: allow FF members of parliament to vote according to their conscience and present it as the leader with high moral ground in contrast to Enda Kenny’s dictatorship where 4 dissenting Fine Gael members were thrown out of the party for voting against abortion.
Bear in mind, Martin’s public statements and to his party membership both before and after the 2013 vote to permit abortion for suicidal ideation in Ireland have always been pro-life.
Yet thousands of abortions took place with direct funding from the Irish tax-payer under Martin unbeknown to most Irish people and it seems most of his own party.
When Martin was Minister for Foreign Affairs, he oversaw the continued granting of oversees aid to two of Ethiopia’s biggest abortion providers.
Between 2005 and 2012, Irish Aid gave over €8.5m to two of Ethiopia’s biggest abortion providers. But when questioned about its policy, Irish Aid back in 2013 said: “We don’t provide any funding to those whose focus is to provide abortion services as this would be against government policy.” The two biggest abortion providers were: The Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE) and DKT Ethiopia.
(a): The Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE), which got €2.7m from Irish Aid / Irish oversees aid (Irish taxpayer’s money) between 2008 and 2012, lists the provision of “safe abortion services” as one of its “major focus areas”. The agency, which provided 50,000 abortions in 2011 alone, funded its abortion services from its “unrestricted funding”.
The person with responsibility for signing off on these grants which are very significant both in terms of amount and what the money was being used for, was the minister for Foreign Affairs. The Minister for Foreign Affairs between 7th May 2008 and 19th January 2011 was Micheál Martin. Dermot Aherne also from the Fianna Fail party, now retired from politics preceded Martin.
The Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia confirmed that the Irish Aid funds had been “unrestricted” before 2012. By 2011, Irish Aid provided some 10 per cent of FGAE’S “unrestricted funding”. In 2011, the Irish Embassy in Addis Ababa finally sought confirmation that Irish Aid funds would not be used for “abortion-related activities”. FGAE responded: “We confirmed same in writing to the embassy before year 2012.”This request for funds not to be used for abortions directly was most likely not at the request of Martin who left Foreign Affairs 19th January 2011.
(b): Martin did however request that funds not be used for direct abortion in early 2010 to the other major abortion provider DKT Ethiopia. DKT Ethiopia, the biggest supplier of medical abortion kits to the Ethiopian government, received €4.8m in the period 2005 to 2009, most of that time under Dermot Ahearne. By 2012 the sum total given to DKT Ethiopia, was €5.8m. Almost 10 per cent of its total donor support came from Irish Aid in the period 2005 to 2012. While most of it was under Dermot Ahearne, the 2.7 million euros to FGAE was mostly under Martin and it’s likely at least a million to DKT Ethiopia was also during Martin’s tenure in Foreign Affairs. Why Martin asked DKT Ethiopia to ensure money received was not used for direct abortions in 2010 when they at that point appear to have been receiving less that the swathes under Dermot Ahern and did not ask FGAE between 2008 and 2011 is unclear. In any case, the clarifications were all window-dressing.
International Planned Parenthood, the umbrella body for all abortion providers worldwide in a report in 2012, stated that asking FGAE in 2011 for money not to be used directly for abortion was “artificial”. Which of course it was. If you give 2.7 million euros to a reproductive health N.G.O. which cites safe abortion services as one of its major focus areas with no conditions attached to that funding and then belatedly ask abortion providers that any future money not be used in direct provision of abortion, they must have smiled.
International Planned Parenthoood, in fact incredibly stated that core funders, such as Irish Aid, were “making a significant direct impact [on sexual health service provision] particularly in the areas of access to safe abortion”. Micheál Martin was Foreign Affairs Minister from 2008 to 2011, when much of the Irish Aid funding was paid to the Ethiopian abortion providers.
Martin and Fianna Fail reaffirmed its “pro-life” position at its 2013 Ard Fheis but as we know, he voted for the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill, having had to give a free vote to his colleagues, on whom he’d been unable to impose the party whip to vote for abortion for suicidal ideation.