The fact that Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s new minority Government is somewhat lame does not seem to be stopping him pushing ahead with what he thinks is a populist demand to further liberalise Ireland’s abortion laws. He has announced that he is going ahead with the Citizens’ Assembly promised by the last Government – which he also led – to prepare the ground for this change.
For those who recognise the humanity of the child in the womb, awaiting birth, this is just another piece of window-dressing of shameless political manipulation. It is an attempt to sell to the Irish people something which in their hearts they abhor. A similar strategy was used three years ago with a hand-picked “expert group” was setup by health minister, James Reilly to give pre-ordained advice to him which resulted in an earlier liberalisation of the law.
The Irish Pro Life Campaign describes this decision to bring forward the setting up of the Assembly on abortion is “a knee-jerk reaction to the disgracefully one-sided report last week from the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) which set the rights of the unborn child at zero and ignored the devastating after-effects of abortion for many women.”
Last week, the UN Human Rights Committee commented on a complaint brought by an Irish woman who was unable to have an abortion in Ireland when she was told that her baby would not survive to birth, or very long afterwards. In those comments, the UNHRC said that the Irish State had subjected her to “intense physical and mental suffering”.
Commenting on yesterday’s announcement from the Government, Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign said:
“This Assembly is being set up with one purpose only and that is to pave the way for a referendum to strip the unborn child of its last remaining Constitutional protection. Every member of Cabinet knows that the UN Committee that commented on Ireland’s abortion laws last week has a track record in only pushing abortion and has never once taken a stand against the appalling abuses internationally in the abortion industry. For example, the UN Committee in question has never brought countries like England and Canada to task over the barbaric practice of refusing to give medical assistance to babies born alive after botched abortions.”
The public campaigning for this change in the Republic has been relentless since ‘liberal’ Ireland’s gay marriage victory last year. The pro-abortion pressure groups have the media in their pockets for this one as well. The ratio of pro-abortion stories being run on radio and in print is still in the region of the 30:1 bias exposed last year. It bears no relation to the actual balance of public opinion on the matter. The figure for that which is now routinely trotted out is a pro-abortion one from a poll run for Amnesty International. That organisation’s Irish arm is now the country’s highest profile campaigner for abortion. For some reason its fundraisers on the streets do not seem to as ubiquitous as they were heretofore. One wonders why? Could it be that too many shoppers are seeing them as collectors for Abortion International?
Colum Kenny, an Irish Times columnist, in an balanced article in that paper earlier this month – a welcome but rare enough event for that paper – suggested that the “entry of Amnesty International into this domestic debate is problematic. Its rationale for sidelining the rights of the unborn, on the basis that human rights only begin after birth, is unconvincing.
Even permissive abortion regimes recognise it is not appropriate to terminate a foetus after a certain point sometime before birth. Parents are well aware a moving child in the womb is a human being. Has Amnesty no policy on the healthy but defenceless foetus that might be aborted only for personal or state convenience?”