In a statement issued on Tuesday 17 December 2019 the bishops state that all Christians and people of good will are obliged in conscience not to cooperate formally in abortion services, “even if permitted by civil legislation”.
Any sense that abortion is a progressive step for our country, for what we stand for as a nation, is misplaced, says Bishop Brendan Leahy in end of year reflection.
“I’m not sure whether the government are saying that there is no place for Christians within medicine and if that is the case I don’t think that’s a very positive direction for Ireland to take,” says Pentecostal pastor.
John Bruton tells Irish Catholic Doctors’ Learning Network, “A law that forces someone to take part in, or to facilitate, an action that that person believes is contrary to a deeply held religious conviction could be in conflict with Article 44.2.1.”
Participation in termination of pregnancy is morally objectionable and conflicts with our conscientious commitment to life – Nurses & Midwives4Life Ireland.
“This legislation requires a healthcare professional to cooperate in what he or she sincerely believes is doing harm to one patient and taking the life of another.”
The new General Scheme narrows the scope of conscientious objection, gives a more limited definition of viability post birth, and extends the demarcation of ‘fatal foetal abnormality’ for several weeks past birth.
“It is essential for us as a Church which cares passionately about the gift of life, and wants to support both mothers and their unborn children, to seek better ways of responding to this new and very challenging reality.”
As eyes turn to what happens next, pro-life campaigners are energetic about the future and refusing to concede this result as the end of the story, says Ciara Ferry in her post-referendum report.
There is a pressing need for statutory conscience rights which actually protect those who need protection. The current law fails to do this, so this Bill is a necessary