European Life Network ELN in an initial reaction to the Irish Government’s proposed “Human Life in Pregnancy Bill 2013’ has issued the following statement.
The Irish government draft bill on abortion is worse than Britain's 1967 Abortion Act, far from being restrictive as the government claims, the bill has the potential to lead to widespread availability of abortion.The bill proposes to abolish sections 58 & 59 of the Offences Against The Person Act 1861, under which abortion in general remains a criminal offence. That provision is retained even in Britain. The vast majority of abortions in Britain are in fact unlawful under the 1861 Act, if the Abortion Act was interpreted honestly (instead of being widely flouted).Regarding abortion for suicidal mothers, the bill goes beyond both the mental health grounds of Britain's 1967 Abortion Act and of British case-law such as the 1938 Bourne judgment. Unlike British law, the bill makes suicide an explicit, statute-level ground for abortion.The bill explicitly removes protection for unborn children before implantation in the womb, thus ensuring that they can be aborted legally, by drugs and devices such as the morning-after pill.Even the name of the bill "Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013" is misleading and hypocritical, as it does not protect unborn life in a wide variety of circumstances and is contrary to the equal protection for mothers and their unborn children under the Irish Constitution."We call upon all Irishmen and women to unite to ensure that this bill is thrown out of the Oireachtas at the first vote. There must be absolute and unequivocal opposition to all abortion expressed in a loud and clear manner by church leaders, pro-life groups and politicians.Today must mark the end, not the beginning, of abortion in Ireland.
ELN will in due course, issue a more complete statement when an in-depth study of the proposed legislation has been carried out.