45 days to go…..
to Ireland’s referendum on abortion on May 25th when voters decide whether to repeal / remove the pro-life 8th amendment to the constitution which gives equal protection to mother and child, or to keep it.
THIS POST IS IN THREE PARTS:
(1): BACKGROUND TO THE PRO-LIFE CRISIS IN IRELAND:
(2): SR BRIEGE MCKENNA’S MASS APPEAL FOR THE 8TH:
The real push for and risk of decriminalisation of abortion to birth in Ireland.
exposed by of all people, the no. 2 in parliament, Simon Coveney, whose attempt to limit future parliamentarians power to decriminalise abortions to birth (as per this government’s original plan), sank like a stone.
(1): BACKGROUND TO THE PRO-LIFE CRISIS IN IRELAND:
International Planned Parenthood:
the umbrella body for abortion providers worldwide, seeks through its affiliates here, to introduce an extremely liberal abortion regime to Ireland. The Irish government is campaigning for a no questions asked unrestricted medical abortion regime to 12 weeks. Until recently, they proposed abortions with no upper limits i.e. to birth on mental / physical risk grounds with a two doctor model approach similar to the U.K. (the U.K. mental health risk ground has been responsible for 98% of almost 9 million UK social abortions to date and the two doctor UK model has been dispensed with long ago, with most abortions signed off on by doctors who do not see the woman until in theatre: please see our previous posts on this).
Down syndrome exemption?
The Irish government say babies are diagnosed with Down’s syndrome after 12 weeks. Therefore they will escape the unrestricted abortion limit to 12 weeks. The government also says they will be exempt from mid-trimester abortions as no ground for abortion of non-fatal disabililties will be permitted. Mid-trimester abortions will otherwise be permissible on mental / physical health risk grounds by two nominated doctors. However in Germany, there is equally no ground for abortion of Down’s babies, yet 9/10 Down’s babies are aborted under the mental health risk ground. The absence of a ground is meaningless without a ban while the mental health risk ground exists.
Last trimester Ban or is it?
Because of a recent drop in support in opinion polls, the Irish government cynically dropped the ‘no upper limit’ ……ahem….limit and now propose a ban on abortions above 24 weeks of pregnancy / viability. Exceptions to the new limit proposed include serious maternal life and health risks and fetal life limiting conditions, where babies may be still be aborted to birth. How ‘serious’ will be defined as opposed to mental and physical health risks for mid-trimester abortions is unclear but reassurances are given that babies will not be left to die.
Zero legal protection:
In any case if the 8th amendment goes / is repealed, there remains zero legal protection for the Irish unborn to birth following a recent Irish supreme court decision that stripped any remaining rights other than the right to life enshrined in the 8th. Recent attempts by the Irish government’s 2nd in command, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, to prevent further liberalisation of current government proposals including a possible reversion to the original ‘no upper limit’ scenario, failed miserably in the Irish parliament or ‘Dáil’ this past week on the grounds of being unconstitutional. Thus the door will be left wide open to this or future governments acting as they will. Having said that, a constitutional lawyer here has intimated that the total lack of constitutional protection to birth without the 8th in place, might permit a situation to unfold where any limitations in place could be challenged with nothing to underpin them.
A thorn in the side for years:
International planned parenthood’s juggernaut, has targeted Ireland’s pro-life laws for many years describing the 8th amendment as the ‘jewel in the crown’ for the pro-life movement in general. This targeting despite Ireland having one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world without abortion.
Money is involved at many levels. Consider the revenue of Planned Parenthood America in 2016 which was 1.4 billion US dollars alone. Consider a recent post on major abortion provider Marie Stopes U.K.’s bonus driven culture; (calling back women who’d already refused abortions to offer later appointments as a sales target) and consider yesterday’s post on the flooding of Irish pro-abortion organisations such as Amnesty International Ireland with foreign funds from George Soros amongst others, accepted and kept illegally. With a view to not only repealing the 8th amendment, but to specifically target any remaining countries with restrictive abortion laws including Poland and Malta….
(2): SR BRIEGE MCKENNA’S MASS APPEAL:
REPARATION, CONVERSION AND PROTECTION OF THE PRO-LIFE 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, conversions of heart and for protection of the 8th amendment. There is nothing greater than the Mass. (Sr. Briege has a worldwide apostolate of intercession for priests and healing ministry). In August last year in the Marian shrine, Knock, Ireland, she said, ‘if Ireland votes for abortion, Ireland is lost.’
Can you, with other parishioners organise one or more Masses / half-days / days of prayer with medically safe fasting in your parish between now and May 25th?
Please let us know about your parish event or if you are going to have a Mass said privately by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our website: www.massandfastforireland.com/contact
Please consider getting Masses said locally where ever you are or through the following:
(a): Aide to the Church in Need (Ireland): A.C.N. is an international organisation that helps the mission of the Church in some of the poorest and most dangerous places in the world……http://www.acnireland.org/masses or call 018377516 (0035318377516)
(b): Human Life International Ireland, a pro-life and family, catholic organisation, have a 1000 Mass campaign for protection of the unborn and reparation for Ireland’s turning from God…https://humanlife.ie/1000masses/community/add
(3): TODAY’S POST:
The real push for and risk of decriminalisation of abortion to birth in Ireland:
The Tanaiste / No. 2 in the Irish government, Simon Coveney’s failed efforts to reassure voters, by limiting future liberalisation on abortion in the Irish parliament, highlighted how easily legislators will be able to return to their first position of abortions with no upper limit once the 8th is repealed.
Background: the no. 2 in government Simon Coveney had declared previously that he was pro-life. He then capitulated to a position of supporting ‘hard’ cases for abortion. Finally he supported the government’s proposals for unrestricted abortion to 12 weeks and depending on nominated medical personnel’s assessment of mental or physical health of the mother, to 24 weeks.
Obviously concerned enough, that abortion to full term could be introduced once the 8th went, given that the government introduced the 24 week ban after a drop in opinion polls, he then proposed a parliamentary fail safe mechanism to reassure voters, whereby more than a 2/3rds majority of parliament, known as ‘the Dáil, would be required to change legislation further.
This was instantly shot down as unconstitutional. To allay Coveney’s and others fears, the minister for Health, Simon Harris (also previously a self-professed pro-lifer), stated that they would look at other mechanisms to ensure future amendments weren’t treated as any other law and to add a sense of gravitas to the whole proceedings.
The suggestion is then made in the following article of yet another citizen’s assembly to examine the issue (despite the discovery that one recruiter for a recent citizen’s assembly just rang friends of his / her own contacts) and yet another parliamentary health or ‘oireachtais’ committee.
A citizen’s assembly of 100 people supposedly representing the Irish population demographically, makes recommendations to a Dáil / Irish health parliamentary or oireachtais committee. Based on what we have just seen: a ratio in the recent parliamentary abortion committee of 6 pro-abortion speakers for every 1 pro-life speaker and a vote by committee members taken to repeal the 8th half way through proceedings, before all the experts had had a chance to give their testimony, we can expect a similar whitewash.
The recent stripping of any other rights from the unborn by the Irish supreme court other than the right to life in the 8th amendment, paves the way for total decriminalisation of abortions on Irish unborn to birth. The fact that the government originally proposed the two doctor approach with no upper limit on mental / physical health risk grounds, exposes the plan to permit abortions through all stages of pregnancy and provide uniform abortion care through all trimesters to birth on both islands of Ireland and Great Britain.
‘The Tanaiste Simon Coveney has denied doing a u-turn on abortion.’
With reporting by Sean Defoe:
It follows his decision to back unrestricted terminations up to 12 weeks into pregnancy after initial reservations.
The Cabinet approved draft laws on Tuesday that they would try to bring in if the 8th amendment is repealed.
Speaking to Pat Kenny, Minister Coveney said they have allayed his fears.
“I don’t categorise it as a u-turn at all – I couldn’t support the 12 weeks proposal unless it was accompanied with what we got yesterday now from the Minister for Health, which is a very strict and detailed protocol which involves a lot more time for consideration.”
It is also likely we will find out the date of the abortion referendum later on Wednesday.
The Seanad is expected to pass the final stages of the referendum bill later.
The May 25th had been suggested as the probable date for the public to go to the polls.
But Mr Coveney has suggested it could happen a week earlier than expected.
“Once the legislation passes through the Seanad we’ll be able to announce a date at that stage.
“There are two possible dates that we’re looking at towards the end of May.
“Not necessarily the last Friday – it could be the second last Friday”.
Future abortion laws
It comes as the Attorney-General has been asked to look at ways to make sure if abortion laws are ever re-visited in the future, they would get more scrutiny than regular legislation.
The move is being seen as a way to address concerns raised by Mr Coveney.
On Tuesday Mr Coveney went into Cabinet asking that if any new abortion laws were to come in, it would require two-thirds of the Oireachtas to vote in favour of changing them again.
But he was quickly, and publicly, shot down by the Taoiseach.
“The Attorney-General advises me that it would be contrary to article 15 of the Constitution, and therefore could not be included in this legislation – and therefore will not be”.
But playing to Mr Coveney’s concerns, the Attorney-General Seamus Woulfe has been asked to see if there is a way of giving future abortion laws special status, according to Health Minister Simon Harris.
“What the Attorney-General has been asked to do is… to look at seeing if there is a way of outlining if the Irish people or if the Irish people’s representatives decided they wanted to revisit elements of this in the future, that there would be a process in place that would be above and beyond that of changing a regular law”.
“And I’ve already outlined some of those examples – this time we’ve seen a Citizens’ Assembly, we’ve seen an Oireachtas all-party committee”.
The Government on Tuesday approved the heads of bill of the legislation they will try to bring in if the 8th amendment is repealed.