Saturday the 10th of April the ends of the earth

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

Politicians can’t be trusted, pro-lifers warn as Irish abortion referendum announced for May

Politicians cannot be trusted with abortion laws, pro-lifers warned as the Taoiseach announced a referendum on the issue would be held in May.

Pro-lifers have condemned the Irish Government’s backing of proposals to hold a referendum on whether or not the Eight Amendment of the Constitution, which protects the right to life of both the mother and her unborn child, should be repealed.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar earlier this week announced that the referendum would take place at the end of May and that Health Minister Simon Harris would prepare draft legislation proposing laws allowing for unrestricted abortions up to 12 weeks.

Niamh Ui Bhrian, of the Save the 8th campaign, described Mr Varadkar’s announcement as “a dark day” and pointed out that it was a warning that politicians cannot be trusted.

“Tonight, the transformation is complete. Four years ago, Leo Varadkar said that he was ‘pro-life in that I accept that the unborn child is a human life with rights’. Tonight, he is campaigning to remove those rights from the constitution, and to eliminate the right to life up to 12 weeks. If he has come this far in four years, where will he be four years from now?” Ms Ui Bhrian asked.

“In 2011, Simon Harris begged pro-life voters to help him get elected. Today, he is the cheerleader-in-chief for abortion,” she added. “When he has come this far, so quickly, how can voters trust that he will not move again?”

Ms Ui Bhrian also suggested that the public should think very carefully before they call for a repeal of the Eight.

“This is an extreme proposal that places the rights of the unborn in the hands of fickle and poll-driven politicians. The public are not voting for an abortion law just for 2018, but for 2028, 2038, and beyond. If this proposal is passed, we will never be given a say over the rights of the unborn again, because politicians will have nobody to answer to except an avowedly pro-abortion media,” she warned.

“When the public come to see this proposal for what it is, it will be rejected. But that it is even being proposed is a dark day for our republic.”

Picture: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) and Minister for Health Simon Harris brief the media on the government’s plans for a referendum on Ireland’s abortion laws. (Niall Carson/PA).