By Ann Marie Foley - 01 October, 2015
Councillors vote by 23-12 against a call for a repeal of the 8th Amendment which provides for a constitutional ban on abortion.
They voted 23-12 against the motion which was put forward by the Anti-Austerity Alliance.
The Pro Life Campaign stated that the vote shows that when the positive case for the 8th Amendment is put forward people question the “biased attacks against it in the media.”
Commenting on the debate, PLC spokesperson Sinéad Slattery said, “The Councillors who put forward this motion were very quick to accuse the 8th Amendment of being responsible for every difficult situation that arises relating to abortion. But they refuse to acknowledge the positive part the Amendment has played in protecting the lives and health of women and babies.”
She said that when fairness is introduced into the debate, people can see another side to the story.
“The 8th Amendment, far from being some horrible imposition, is actually something that is truly life-affirming and has saved countless lives since its insertion into the Constitution,” she said.
Sinéad Slattery feels that pro-life supporters can take encouragement from the vote, which took place on Monday (28 September).
She said that the pro-choice side put in “an unbelievable effort” to convince councillors to vote against the 8th Amendment.
“To their credit, a majority of councillors listened carefully to the arguments from both sides and decided to vote in favour of the right to life. As the public debate develops the strength of the arguments in favour of retaining the 8th Amendment will become clearer and clearer,” she concluded.
The PLC had urged its members and contacts to email members of Limerick City Council in advance of the vote and ask that they vote against weakening protection for the unborn child in Ireland.
Likewise pro choice groups asked people to contact councillors.
Responding to last weekend’s March for Choice in Dublin, PLC said the pro-choice campaign is in “absolute denial” regarding the hurt and heartbreak caused by abortion for many women.
Commenting on the March for Choice, another Pro Life Campaign spokesperson, Dr Ruth Cullen said, “The pro-choice side are behaving as though they have a monopoly when it comes to the experiences of women who have had abortions. Sadly, there will be no time set aside at today’s march for the stories of the thousands of Irish women who traveled abroad for abortion and deeply regret their decision.”
She also said that the lives saved as a result of Ireland’s legal protection for the unborn deserve to be heard as do the stories of abortion regret.
Also during the weekend Tánaiste Joan Burton stated that, if it is part of the next government, the Labour Party will ensure a referendum is held to dismantle or repeal the 8th Amendment to the Constitution.
Responding to the Tánaiste, Pro Life Campaign spokesperson Sinéad Slattery said, “There is nothing ‘humane’ or ‘compassionate’ about the Labour Party stance on abortion. Abortion targets the voiceless, weakest and most vulnerable members of society. It should be an anathema to the Labour Party and everything it claims to stand for.”
She pointed out that those who introduced the 1967 Abortion Act in Britain, like Lord Steele, have admitted they could never have foreseen the implications of the Act, such as abortion of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome.