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How much further will the already enormous changes to Irish abortion laws go?

by | Dec 15, 2017

By Dave Andrusko

A heads-up. The roller-coaster ride that (for the moment) culminated in an Irish parliamentary committee recommending this week the end to the 8th amendment guaranteeing equal right to mothers and unborn children is just getting started. If we’ve learned anything in the campaign financed by the likes of billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation it is that whatever “limits” there may appear to be on “liberalizing” abortion laws in Ireland, they are like dust in the wind.

I actually was able to track down the report from the Oireachtas [Parliamentary] Committee on the Eighth Amendment. I am no more sure I understand what they recommended than I was before I read it.

But here goes…

In recommendations made to the Irish government for the language in next year’s referendum on abortion, clearly a large majority wants abortion on demand through the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Equally clear there were suggestions that the language might go much further, perhaps at least through the 22nd week.

For example, under “Module 2,” there is this wording at the end (#5), “That the Committee recommend that provision for gestational time limits for termination of pregnancy be guided by the best available medical evidence and provided for in legislation.” But what does that mean?

So I asked a UK pro-lifer who has followed the campaign to terminate the Republic of Ireland’s very protective approach to unborn children the following.

So, in addition to the abortion on demand through 12 weeks, the government may well devise referendum language that says abortion is also legal for a, b, and c reasons through x, y, and z number of weeks, correct?

The answer? “Yes.”

No sooner had I gotten the response than I read some new stories in the Irish Times which is not only wildly pro-abortion but clearly has a pipeline to the committee. Here’s a revealing paragraph from a piece by Ciarán D’Arcy:

Members of the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment have largely upheld the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on abortion by voting in favour of unrestricted access to terminations in the State up to 12 weeks’ gestation, with a sizeable majority of TDs and Senators also supporting the extension of abortion access to cases of rape and fatal foetal abnormalities

Two quick things.

First, the rape exception is always and ever a stalking horse for many additional exceptions. The “fatal foetal abnormalities” is a particularly disheartening ploy, both because this term is so vague it is almost meaningless and because it targets a category of particularly vulnerable babies.

Second, the outcome of the committee’s deliberations was preordained. Three pro-life members did not attend the last meeting. In a statement the three “confirmed they would compile their own report and would publish next week.”

“The systemic imbalance in the functioning of the committee precluded any fair assessment of the issues. An unacceptably flawed process has led inevitably to cruel and unjust recommendations,” they said.

Categories: Ireland