Ireland’s “scary” new abortion law

By Dave Andrusko

Savita Halappanavar

Savita Halappanavar

From “Abortion Comes to Ireland”

“Just in time for Mother’s Day, the Irish parliament has begun to debate a bill legalizing abortion. The cleverly titled ‘Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013’ supposedly clarifies current Irish law. It does not. It changes it.”

This piece, written by Phyllis Zagano, appeared May 8 in the National Catholic Reporter ( We have written a lot about how pro-abortionists have used a horrible tragedy—the death of Savita Halappanavar—to leverage an all-out assault on Ireland’s protective law. Zagano, an author and a senior research associate-in-residence at Hofstra University, contributes a number of keen insights.

In spite of pro-abortion hysteria, when the Court reviewed the death of the 31-year-old Halappanavar, it attributed her death not to the law but to “medical misadventure.” Nonetheless, as Zagano notes, “[A]nd coincidentally, the ‘Protection of Life’ abortion bill found its way to the Irish parliament.”

Just a couple of highlights; the article about this “very broad abortion bill” should be read in its entirety. Zagano does an excellent job explaining why “For a number of reasons, the proposed legislation is rather scary.”

For example, “It defines life as beginning with implantation of the fertilized egg in the womb. And it does not give any term after which an abortion may not be performed.”

For pro-lifers, in Ireland or elsewhere, we understand that human life begins at fertilization, not implantation. So does science, as much as pro-abortionists have striven to change the definition to implantation.

And is it an accident that there is no “end point” beyond which abortions cannot be performed? Of course not.

In addition, there is no way out in the 33-page bill for those who object to any involvement. “None of the 19 obstetrics facilities in Ireland can refuse to perform the procedure,” Zagano writes. “Individual medical practitioners can’t really be conscientious objectors. They must make referrals.”


Moreover, the “bill allows abortion in the case of an emergency medical threat to the life of the mother — or at least a medical threat — or if there is risk of suicide.” Of the latter, Zagano observes, “Most egregiously, by including threatened suicide as a risk to the health of the mother, the proposed Irish law makes mockery of psychiatric care. Has anyone told the lawmakers that abortions also cause suicide?”

Zagano ends with a mixed prognosis whether the bill will pass. That a country as solidly pro-life as Ireland might essentially embrace abortion on demand virtually overnight is a reminder of how adroit pro-abortionists are at using one tragedy to create potentially millions of new tragedies.

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