A debate is taking place in the Dail today and tomorrow over the issue of abortion. Here are some points TDs should keep in mind as the debate begins.
- The real issue is repeal of the 8th amendment. Any legislation that is enacted, however permissive, will only be the starting point. If the pro-life amendment goes, there will no longer be anything to prevent the abortion regime in Ireland from being as liberal as possible. The debate about possible legislation should not distract us from this fact.
- One in five pregnancies in the UK end in abortion each year. This amounts to almost 200,000 abortions annually.
- The British law permits abortion overwhelmingly on ‘health’ grounds, especially ‘mental health’. This has led, de facto, to abortion-on-demand in the UK. (More information here).
- Non-fatal disability is not named as a ground for abortion in the recommendations of the Oireachtas abortion committee. This will not prevent the aborting of babies with conditions such as Down Syndrome. These can still be aborted under the ‘mental health’ of the mother ground, which is what happens in countries like Germany.
- It is true that the abortion pill can be obtained online. This is not an excuse for changing the law, however. Many laws are broken, but we do not change the law for that reason if the law has a good purpose; striving to save human lives in the womb is a very good purpose.
- The humanity of the child in the womb is not a matter of opinion; two humans cannot produce a non-human.
- Even if we allow for 1,500 Irish women using the abortion pill annually, this brings the total number of abortions performed on Irish women per year to around 5,000. This equates to one pregnancy in every 13, a rate far below the British rate.