July 31, 2013
The Irish President today signed into law the bill that allows direct killing of unborn children, up to the point of full gestation, in cases where the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother, including if she threatens suicide.
Pro-life activists have said that not only does the law violate the Constitution’s protections for the unborn, but the suicide provision is wide open to abuse and could pave the way for effective abortion on demand. During government hearings into the bill psychiatric professionals had specifically denounced the suicide provision, saying abortion can never be considered treatment for mental illness.
While President Michael D. Higgins had the power to send the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act 2013 to the country’s Supreme Court to determine whether it violated the country’s constitutional guarantee of the right to life for the unborn, he chose instead to sign without a legal review.
This legislation was the final result of the Irish Supreme Court judgment in the 1992 X Case and the subsequent decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the A, B and C case. Pro-life advocates have vowed both to defeat the Fine Gael party, which formed a coalition government with the Labour Party, after promising during the campaign never to legislate for abortion.
Niamh Uí Bhriain of Dublin’s Life Institute, who was in the forefront of the fight against the bill, said that the immediate task is to launch a legal challenge to the law. She told LifeSiteNews.com that there are also plans afoot for a pro-life party.
“The challenges that then face the pro-life movement include ensuring that a pro-life political alternative arises from this travesty, which has seen our government defy the media, ignore the medical experts and allow bullying and bribery to force passage of this legislation,” she said.
Rebecca Roughneen of Youth Defence wrote that the act has set a historical precedent for Ireland in establishing in law that “some of us are worth less than others; so much so that it is now within legality to deliberately destroy a human life … A tiny, helpless, voiceless life.”