By Dave Andrusko
As is ever and always the case, when pro-abortionists in Ireland, led by Minister of Health Simon Harris, were campaigning to delete the 8th Amendment from the Irish Constitution, they assured constituents that the legislation that would follow would be “moderate,” “mainstream,” etc., etc., etc. But that was then and this is now.
Yesterday Harris flat-out refused to accept an amendment to the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill to ban abortions because the baby had a disability. According to the Irish Times, Harris said that would make the bill “entirely unworkable” and would “stigmatise women in crisis pregnancies by allowing its proposers to suggest that these are their motives.”
Fianna Fáil TD [member of the lower house of Parliament] Éamon Ó Cuív had said, “As technology advances, it will become much cheaper and much more accessible to test for disability. The argument, therefore, that people will not test for Down syndrome, or that they will not avail of testing or that they will not be allowed to do so, is fallacious.”
Harris brushed aside the concern, saying “I hear a lot about human rights and I have some breaking news. Women’s rights are human rights and we have been violating them in this country for about 35 years and the Irish people have said ‘no more’.”
Besides, Harris said, spinning furiously, the bill provides for abortion where there was a risk to the life or serious harm to the health of a pregnant woman, where there was a fatal foetal abnormality, or where the pregnancy had not gone beyond 12 weeks.
But according to reporter Jennifer Bray
Independent TD Michael Collins said the majority of the media had failed to challenge Mr. Harris on his “spin.”
“He would like all of us to believe that if it is not specifically legal to abort on the ground of disability, it will somehow not happen in Ireland. That view is very naïve.”
Former Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín said that “a ten year old child studying a Venn diagram in school knows that if abortion is made available for every reason it is available for disability also within that Venn diagram.”
As pro-lifers predicted, abortions will be paid for by the government. As SPUC reported (reposted elsewhere at NRL News Today), when a pro-life member party policy on abortion introduced an amendment to the Bill, seeking to ensure that taxpayers’ money is not used for abortions, she was reduced to tears by a stream of vicious personal attacks.
But there was more bad news. The Irish Times also reported
Another amendment which sought to stipulate that a medical practitioner must take all steps to preserve the life of a foetus if it was born alive was defeated by 59 votes to 39.
If that wasn’t enough, there is Harris’ position on the right of conscience.
Earlier this week more than 350 nurses and midwives
urged Harris to open talks on provisions for conscientious objection in the forthcoming abortion legislation.
Mary Fitzgibbon, a nurse and midwife, said the group – who have signed a petition – want the right to object to providing services due to conscience. But they also believe they should not have to refer a woman on to another healthcare professional.
However, there is nothing in Harris’ track record that suggests he would be open to total non-involvement.
The Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill will return next week for the consideration of further amendments.