By Susan Gately - 20 April, 2018
There is one purpose and one purpose only to the referendum on the Eighth Amendment, and that is to introduce abortion on demand, according to Love Both, which on Wednesday launched its campaign for a No vote in the referendum due to take place on 25 May.
“In the past six years we had two sets of exhaustive Oireachtas hearings, legislation in 2013, five Private Member’s bills in the Dáil, a Citizen’s Assembly and another round of exhaustive Oireachtas Committee hearings, and they have all been focused on abortion and broadening the grounds of it,” Sinead Slattery of Love Both told a packed hall in the Alex Hotel, Dublin.
“Not one of these committees, not even one of them, assemblies or bills, focused on alternatives to abortion. And now we are faced with a referendum on 25 May to strip unborn babies of all worthwhile legal protections. In any measure, that is a national scandal.”
Journalists, Love Both canvassers and a number of Dáil deputies, including Éamon O Cuív, Mattie McGrath, Michael Healy-Rae, Declan Breathnach, Peter Fitzpatrick and Kevin O’Keeffe, attended the launch.
Speaking to CatholicIreland.net at the event, Deputy Mattie McGrath TD said there had been no debate in the Dáil about “any of the impacts or effects of abortion or even about the procedure of abortion or alternatives to abortion in the last ten years”.
It is all “one way traffic,” he said. “They just want to get rid of the Eighth Amendment at all costs and any costs and to hell with the consequences.”
In relation to abortion pills, which are allegedly being purchased by Irish women through the internet, delivered by post and self-administered, Deputy McGrath said he did not trust the numbers of pills reportedly coming into Ireland, describing it as propaganda.
“Unfortunately, some are coming in and being used in various dangerous circumstances in homes and other places and there are awful casualties which end up in our Accident and Emergency Departments where, thankfully, they get good care, but it’s being used as a tool.” The suggestion is: “It’s here anyway, just open the gates and let it happen,” he added.
“I brought a three-minute animated video into the Committee [on abortion],” continued Deputy McGrath. “They wouldn’t look at it. It’s a case of hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.”
Speaking at the launch, Caroline Simons, legal consultant at Love Both, said if the Eighth Amendment was repealed, Ireland would go from “being a country that protects unborn babies to one of the most extreme abortion regimes in the world. If repeal happens, the government is committed to legislating for unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks. The proposed legislation also allows for abortion on vague and undefined ‘health’ grounds, up to viability and even up to birth where the baby has a possible terminal illness and in other circumstances as well.”
Love Both spokesperson Áine Kierans said that in the event of repeal, if Irish abortion rates grew even one quarter as fast as they did in Britain, “we would have 4,000 more abortions every year. Regardless of how it is presented, the government’s abortion proposals amount to abortion on demand. If we go down that road, there is no going back,” she said.