Irish Health Minister promoting one of most liberal abortion regimes in Europe

Editor’s note. The following post comes from the Irish pro-life group, Life Institute . Simon Harris is Ireland’s pro-abortion Health Minister. The Dáil is the lower house of the Irish Parliament. TDs are members of The Dáil.

A small portion of the post was omitted for purposes of clarity. The post can be read in its entirety at thelifeinstitute.net.

Health Minister Simon Harris
(Picture: Hugh Russell).

Simon Harris is seeking to rush abortion legislation through the Dáil which would establish in Ireland one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe.

The Bill will be brought before the Dáil this week, and debated over the next fortnight. Please, as a matter of urgency, visit, call and email your TD seeking these amendments TODAY. Please also ask your family, friends and Life Canvass team to do the same.

1. Protect preborn children with a disability

The Bill does not currently outlaw abortion on disability grounds. Therefore, this amendment is required to the legislation: A procedure to terminate a pregnancy shall be unlawful if carried out solely on the ground that the foetus is diagnosed as having or is apprehended as having a disability.”

2. Freedom of Conscience in Practice

Termination in the bill is described as a medical procedure designed to bring about the death of the foetus. Doctors, nurses and other persons must not be forced by law to assist in ending the life of another human being. Instead, the government can establish an ‘opt in’ system where medical professionals who do wish to participate in abortions can be included.

Simon Harris wants to force GPs to refer women for abortion. There is already a serious shortage of GPs, and of nursing staff in Irish hospitals, yet the Minister will force many out of medicine by insisting that they act against their conscience on abortion or face serious penalties. This will further damage the already creaking health service for no good reason.

Hospitals/institutions whose ethos is inconsistent with abortion should not be forced to permit abortion and should not be penalised financially or otherwise if they do not permit abortion.

3. Parental Consent must be required for a person under 18 years of age

Consent should be amended to include:

Provision to be made for parental consent being required for an abortion or termination of pregnancy being performed on a child of under 18 years of age.

4. Ban abortion of babies simply because they are girls

The Bill does not currently outlaw abortion on gender grounds. Sex-selection abortion has become a major issue in Britain, where the Labour MP Naz Shah has called for gender testing for preborn babies to be restricted as a result. Therefore, this amendment is required to the legislation:

“It shall be unlawful to end the life of a foetus on the grounds of gender.”

In addition, the following amendments should be included in the Bill:

Sale of Body Parts

Section 24 amended to ensure it shall be unlawful to sell, or to otherwise trade, foetal body parts

Foetal Pain

It shall be unlawful to end the life of the foetus, or otherwise to injure the foetus after the foetus is capable of feeling pain.

Viability

The definition of viability in the bill should be amended from:

“viability” means the point in a pregnancy at which, in the reasonable opinion of a medical practitioner, the foetus is capable of survival outside the uterus without extraordinary life-sustaining measures;

To:

“viability” means the point in a pregnancy at which, in the reasonable opinion of three medical practitioners, the foetus is capable of survival outside the uterus without extraordinary life-sustaining measures; artificial nutrition, hydration and comfort care shall not be included in any understanding of what qualifies as extraordinary life-sustaining measures

Babies Born Alive

Medical professionals should strive to preserve the lives of babies born alive following abortion.

Mandatory reporting

Provision to be made for the mandatory reporting to the relevant authorities of the fact of the pregnancy of a child under 16 years of age.

Counselling and Informed Consent

This requirement should have a number of aspects:

Requirement of independent counselling to ensure that women with unplanned pregnancies are aware of all alternatives to abortion and know how to access them;

Details of physical and mental risks for the mother should be explained

Women should be offered an opportunity to see an ultrasound

Disposal of Remains

Where a pregnancy is terminated and the foetus dies, there shall be an onus on the medical practitioner to arrange for the proper burial of the remains of the foetus in grounds identified by the HSE for that purpose.

Section 23: Conscientious objection: amendments

(1). Subject to subheads (2) and (3), nothing in this Bill shall be construed as obliging any medical practitioner, nurse, midwife or any other person to carry out, or to assist in carrying out, an abortion or termination of pregnancy referred to in Head 4(1), 5(1), 6(1) or 7(1) to which he or she has a conscientious objection.

Slán go foil [Goodbye for now]