In Ireland, allow abortion in one case and it’s allowed in every case

By John Smeaton, executive director

Editor’s note. The following appeared Tuesday on the webpage of the British Society for the Protection of Unborn Life (SPUC)


John Smeaton

SPUC, which was officially represented in the A, B & C case before the European Court of Human Rights, has called for “widespread resistance” to the report published today by Ireland’s Expert Group on abortion. The report’s recommendations are unconstitutional and a door to mass abortion on a British scale.

As I told the media this afternoon, the expert group’s report is based on the erroneous judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the A, B & C case. That judgment not only misrepresented the European Convention on Human Rights, but also failed to respect Ireland’s national sovereignty by unilaterally misinterpreting the Irish Constitution’s protection of the right to life. The case was never about helping women faced with a crisis pregnancy. It was instigated by the international pro-abortion lobby, which has the ultimate aim of forcing governments across the globe to recognise access to abortion as a legal right.

This report is undemocratic. It fails to suggest as an option consulting the Irish people through a referendum. Conversely, it suggests proposals which the Irish people rejected in the 2002 referendum, namely repealing the ban on abortion in the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. Also, it is an outrageous violation of the consciences of parliamentarians for Enda Kenny to threaten to suspend any Fine Gael TD who will not vote to legislate for abortion. One despairs of politicians like Mr Kenny, who fail to respect basic human rights, such as conscientious objection and the right to life of all members of the human family, including the unborn.

Any Irish parliamentarian who votes for this report will be giving-in to unelected judges in Strasbourg who have tried to usurp the Irish people’s constitutional right to decide on abortion. The Irish Supreme Court ruled that the Irish Constitution trumps the European Convention on Human Rights, because the Convention is not part of Irish law and therefore not directly applicable in Irish cases.  …

Not only is abortion not genuine healthcare, but in Irish law it is a criminal offence. It would be wholly wrong for a criminal offence to be ‘regulated’. If the expert group’s report is implemented, it would in fact allow abortion in a wide range of circumstances. It would ‘medicalise’ abortion, introducing structures and procedures which will allow doctors to approve abortions as a matter of routine, then carry them out at designated facilities. …

We call upon all people of good-will in Ireland, including the Catholic bishops, to back an all-out campaign to defeat – not just amend – any options allowing abortion. This will require widespread resistance to be mobilised. Ireland’s politicians should be put on notice that they will lose their seats at the next election if they vote to legislate for abortion.