7 days to go to Ireland’s referendum on abortion May 25th on whether to retain or repeal the pro life 8th amendment to the Irish constitution.
Mass appeal….please see our home page for Sr. Briege McKenna’s appeal for Masses to be said…
Today’s post: Abortion pills….
The following is a letter from Dr. Conor Hanley School of Law UCG.
Sir, – The Taoiseach has expressed concern that a No vote would lead to the prosecution of women who have purchased abortion pills on the internet. Section 22 of the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act 2013 does indeed make it an offence to intentionally destroy unborn life. However, the DPP has discretion in deciding whether or not to bring a prosecution, and one element of that discretion is the public interest. Given the terrible pressures that an unexpected pregnancy can bring, in most cases it is likely that the public interest would not be served by a prosecution. This is as it should be, and those of us seeking a No vote would abhor a prosecution being brought in such circumstances.
The Taoiseach is also reported to have said that the penalty for taking an abortion pill is worse than the penalty for rape. This assertion is bizarre and entirely wrong. The maximum sentence under the 2013 Act is 14 years, but any sentence imposed is likely to be lenient. The maximum sentence for rape, by contrast, is life imprisonment, and sentences currently average at around 10 years.
Finally, for the record, when the 2013 legislation was before the Dáil, Leo Varadkar voted against a proposed amendment that would have exempted pregnant women from prosecution for procuring an abortion.
Yours etc. Dr. Conor Hanly,
School of Law, U.C.G.
At no point has any of the pro life groups lobbied / called or agitated for criminal sentences for women who have abortions. When the Kenny government introduced the Protection of Life during pregnancy act in 2013 and introduced the 14 year jail term for those involved in abortions, no pro life person advocated for that. In fact, it was clear that it could be used in exactly the way it is now being used: to argue for liberalisation of the law. Recently in the Dail Taoiseach / Prime Minister Leo Varadkar supported a 14 year sentence for the current proposals of breaching the unrestricted abortions to 12 weeks and on mental health grounds similar to UK abortion law to 24 weeks and to term in limited circumstances from 24 weeks.
Will the 14 year jail term now being proposed again be used at a future date to further liberalise even what they are proposing now? Of course, if the 8th is repealed there is nothing to stop Varadkar repeating history. Our media is so biased that he can get away with supporting a 14 year jail sentence for those involved in abortions, a few years ago, then use that to denounce the law to further liberalise it!
How have we reached the numbers of abortion pills being procured if figures are true?
Which is a big if….
One way is that the trend / epidemic has been delilberately and systematically promoted by none other than the family planning clinics here. As far back as 2012, an undercover investigation done by pro-life women involving going into the Irish Family Planning Association / I.F.P.A. or Marie Stopes clinics enquiring about abortions showed that two major breaches in the law and clinical care were occurring:
(1): Woman were being advised how to procure abortion pills illegally
(2): Women were advised after an abortion to conceal it from doctors which was denounced by the then Master of the Rotunda Sam Coulter Smith.
The following article clearly shows the counsellors advising women on how to get and take the abortion pills illegally.
Following the publication of the article in the Independent at HSE investigation was launched.
In 2014 it was concluded and the findings were that there was no case for prosecutions and no wrong had been done. There were no penalties or sanctions. A blind eye was turned.
Even allowing for the wide variation in figures quoted by pro choice obstetricians of women taking abortion pills illegally in this country (2000 to 4000) depending on which pro choice doctor is speaking, is it any wonder that there is a trend upwards when a government refuses to clamp down on illegal activity happening under its nose all with a view to using the phenomenon to agitate for repeal….
One supposes one can start lobbying for legalisation of all sorts of other illegal drugs as in any case, people are using them…