Coming together to save the 8th Amendment

In just two weeks from now the people of Ireland will participate in one of the most important referendum in our lifetime; whether to repeal the 8th Amendment, the law which gives equal rights to the life of the mother and the unborn child. This amendment reads “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”      If it is removed, the constitutional right to life will no longer exist and the road to abortion on demand will be paved in Ireland.

I might be complacent about the prospect of this happening had it not been for my recent visit to Dublin. I was truly shocked and saddened to hear many of my nearest and dearest tell me quite strongly that they plan to Vote Yes. Just as we have media bias in the UK, so too the media is biased in Ireland. Every possible hard case is being presented by the abortion lobby and good people are being persuaded to the pro-abortion position out of some sense of mistaken compassion.

The Savita case is misrepresented again and again to persuade people that the absence of abortion puts women’s lives at risk, but this is simply not true. Section 48.3 of the Medical Council Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics clearly states that abortion is legally permissible where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother and that risk does not even have to be immediate or inevitable. Far from putting women’s lives at risk, Ireland’s respect for human life has made Ireland one of the safest countries in the world to have a baby.

When the abortion lobby were attempting to introduce abortion into Britain they talked about making it safe, legal and rare. 50 years on and abortion is no longer seen as a choice but is promoted as the solution to a problem pregnancy. We now end 1 in 5 pregnancies, 97% of abortions are being done on very dubious mental health grounds and we have abortion up to birth for disability. Nine out of 10 babies detected in the womb with Down’s Syndrome are now aborted and even the lives of babies with minor abnormalities such as cleft lip, are being ended. Twenty six years ago, a doctor here told me I was irresponsible for refusing tests for abnormality, so I dread to think the pressure that parents are under now. Irish people do not believe that this will happen in Ireland, but we know from experience that once you introduce abortion for any reason it is virtually impossible to stop it happening for every reason.

The good news is that the tide is turning and many Irish people who were undecided are beginning to feel uncomfortable about introducing abortion into Ireland. Even before the people have voted, the Irish Government has presumptuously announced what its new abortion laws will look like and even those who are not opposed to abortion think that it’s plan for abortion on demand up to 12 weeks is a step too far.  . Proposals would also allow abortion to 24 weeks if the woman’s physical or mental health is at serious risk (Head 4) and abortion up to birth if the baby has a life limiting condition (Head 6). This means that Ireland would be introducing even more liberal abortion laws than we have in Britain.

A Millward Brown opinion poll published this week suggests that 45% are planning to Vote Yes with the No Vote standing at 34%. This represents a 10% swing to a No Vote in the last 2 months. Polls also suggest the Yes voters are less certain of their position than No voters. More and more people are opening their eyes to the facts and with 18% still undecided we need your help to bring the No vote over that line. Are you eligible to vote in Ireland? If so, please ensure that you cast your vote on May 25. If like me, you cannot vote because you are now living overseas, then please do all you can to persuade Irish people who can vote to go and Vote No.

Talk to your friends, write letters to Irish newspapers, spread the word on Social Media. London Irish United for Life are working hard to get Irish people home to vote and there are large, well-run campaigns being run by the No side. Check out Save the 8th being run by the Life Institute and Love Both being run by the Pro-Life Campaign. The Our Future campaign, aimed at younger voters was also launched recently. These groups are working hard to equip Irish people with the facts. Please follow them and ensure that this information reaches as many Irish people as possible before 25 May.

The introduction of abortion into Ireland will change the very fabric of Irish society and we must stop this from happening. For the sake of Irish women and their unborn children, please speak out. Do not wait for others. With the vote this close, your voice could be the one that makes the difference.

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