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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Ireland united behind the Eighth

Pro-lifers across the Republic and Northern Ireland are ‘standing united’ in the fight to save the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, which recognises the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn child.

The unified stance was declared as pro-life groups denounced the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment after it voted for abortion on demand without restriction up to 12 weeks.

Bernadette Smyth, director of Precious Life – the largest pro-life group in Northern Ireland, slammed last week’s vote, saying it “provides abortion on demand for any reason whatsoever” and labelled it “a total betrayal of women and their unborn babies”.

On Wednesday 13th December the committee members, made up of TDs and senators, voted 14-6 to recommend that the Oireachtas repeal the Eighth Amendment, and voted 12-5 to recommend allowing abortions without restrictions up to 12 weeks.

Niamh Uí Bhriain, of the Life Institute, said: “This committee was rigged to push abortion from the beginning, and acted like a lynch mob in refusing the preborn child any trial any voice…before passing a death sentence on a helpless and vulnerable victim.”

She said the committee – with the exception of three representatives – showed no interest in hearing what abortion meant for the baby, or in asking any hard questions of the stream of pro-abortion witnesses handpicked to give evidence supporting abortion.

“The baby, who is recognised as a human being under our constitution, was barely mentioned during the hearings, and now this rigged committee is proposing that preborn children can be put to death for any reason whatsoever,” she said, adding that the Fianna Fáil members of the committee had betrayed their own grassroots.

“At Fianna Fáil’s last Ard Fheis 90 per cent of its members voted against abortion, yet we are now looking at the Fianna Fáil members of the committee proposing that abortion be legalised without restriction, something that should be brought to the attention of their constituents,” she said.

The Life Institute spokeswoman said that the pro-life movement was uniting to ensure that the “cruel and extreme recommendations of the committee would be rejected by the people in the forthcoming referendum”.

Meanwhile, Bernadette Smyth warned of the terrifying prospects that could come about if the Eighth Amendment is not retained. “Dublin is likely to become the abortion capital of Europe,” she told The Universe. “The people of Ireland need to rise up and defend the right to life, and reject this truly disgraceful, backwards and barbaric agenda.”

The director of Precious Life also warned that if the Eighth Amendment were to be repealed it would have grave prospects north of the border.

“When it comes to abortion, there is no border,” she said. “If the right to life is undermined legally in the south of Ireland, it will effect the law in Northern Ireland also.

“We stand united as a pro-life movement North and South, and we will fight to save the Eighth Amendment and protect every unborn child in this country who has a right to live.

“Life is not just for the planned, the perfect or the privileged,” she said. “The people of Ireland will have the final say.”

Picture: Pro-Life campaigners gather in Merrion Square, Dublin, as the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment voted for abortion on demand at up to 12 weeks.