LoveBoth will not give up on ‘protecting unborn life’

At their first press conference since the referendum result, LoveBoth said they would not give up on “the cause of protecting unborn life” and would work to ensure that any abortion legislation would be as restrictive as possible. Legal adviser to the LoveBoth campaign, Caroline Simons, said in light of the fact that one in three people voted against the proposal and that many of those who voted in favour articulated concerns about the 12 week aspect of the legislation, the Government needed to “look again” at this. An RTE exit poll showed that almost half of those who voted have misgiving about the 12 week provision.

LoveBoth also called on the Government to adopt “eight principles” when drafting legislation for abortion. These included counselling services for crisis pregnancies, allowing conscientious objections by healthcare professionals, emergency care for women in the event of complications following terminations and preventing terminations on the basis of sex or disability. They also called for pain relief for the unborn where there is a risk that they would experience any pain, that healthcare professionals strive to preserve the lives of “babies born alive” following a termination, respectful disposal of foetal remains including banning their sale and the collection and publications of statistics of terminations.

The group said it would work in the long term for a reinstatement of Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion. Prof William Binchy said that he believed it would be possible to gain majority support for such a proposal. “I don’t think you could do it tomorrow . . . but I do think that the inherent justice and humanity of not terminating the lives of innocent human beings is so self-evidently right that any human being of goodwill think thinks it through, thinks it through dispassionately over a period of time will realise that abortion is not the solution,” Prof Binchy said.