Say ‘NO’ to a Referendum to Repeal of the 8th [Pro–Life] Amendment
1) Repeal would mean many more abortions. Abortion would have killed Mrs Savita Halappanavar, as well as her baby daughter, Prasa. The first paragraph of Article 40.3.3° is the 8th [Pro-Life] Amendment. If it is repealed, it certainly will mean that a lot more abortions of Irish unborn will occur than occur at present. Pro-liberalization medics, and media, have been all too keen to ignore or dismiss reports on the dire effects of abortion on the mothers involved. In reply to a question from Deputy Mattie McGrath at the meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee of October 11, 2017, Dr Peter Boylan, who advised the Labour Party on their abortion policy, said that he couldn’t think of any maternal death, other than that of Mrs Savita Halappanavar, that was, in his opinion, due to the existence of the 8th Amendment. It should be pointed out that the prominent Indian obstetrician–gynaecologist, Dr Hema Divakar, has said that, had Mrs Halappanavar’s baby daughter, Prasa, been aborted on the Monday, the abortion would have killed Mrs Halappanavar also, because she was so weak [The Hindu, Bangalore, November 16, 2012]. ‘Sepsis is the leading cause of maternal death in the UK’ [National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU), University of Oxford, March 29, 2016: npeu.ox.ac.uk]; ‘All forms of operative delivery were associated with increased risk of sepsis’ [ibid.].
2) There is well-founded medical evidence that abortion is linked to breast cancer, and abuse of other children in the same family. There has been controversy recently over whether abortion is linked to breast cancer, and whether abortion leads to child abuse. The impression created in the media is that neither of these claims is valid. Doctors differ and patients die. The claim regarding breast cancer is corroborated strongly by a recent meta‑analysis from China –– see ‘Publications List’. See also the website of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute. The claim regarding child abuse is corroborated, among other experts, by the Canadian psychiatrist and child psychologist, Dr Philip G. Ney, in his book Deeply Damaged –– An Explanation for the Profound Problems Arising from Infant Abortion and Child Abuse (Pioneer Publishing Co. Ltd: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 1997; 3rd Edition 2015) –– see Chapters 2, 4, 8, 9, and 10.
3) In the law of the Republic of Ireland, the unborn is recognized as a human person, starting from fertilization. Neither Dutch law, nor English law, recognizes the unborn child as a human person. The right to life of the unborn as catered for in Article 40.3.3°, comes under the general title ‘Fundamental Rights – Personal Rights’. Not only is the right to life of the unborn considered to be a personal right, but the recognition of the human foetus as a human person has been corroborated by the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014, Interpretation 2. (1), under ‘body’. In doing so, that Act has undermined the original pro‑abortion interpretation in the ‘X’ Case judgement of Article 40.3.3°. Acknowledging in statute law also that the human foetus is a human person argues strongly against deliberately destroying him/her for any reason. The 2014 Act endorses DNA testing, and so the State now accepts that the individual human being begins his/her life at fertilization. The Supreme Court delivered a judgement on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, on the Humphreys ruling in the High Court, given July 29, 2016. The Supreme Court have ruled that the only Constitutional right the unborn has is the right to life as catered for by Article 40.3.3°. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court made no reference to the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014, and so there is no reason to believe that they have restricted the clarification of the right provided by the 2014 Act. Neither in the Netherlands, nor in England, is the personhood of the unborn child before birth acknowledged at all [see in the Transcripts of the meetings of the Oireachtas Joint Committee, remarks by Professor Sjef Gevers at the meeting of November 23, 2017; and those of Mr Peter Thompson, at the meeting of November 29, 2017.] It is the intention of the Government to legislate for In Vitro Fertilization, during which 96% of human embryos conceived in vitro [i.e. ‘on glass’] are deliberately wasted [Nicholas Tonti–Fillipini, ‘Reproductive Technology Outcomes in Australia: Analysing the Data’, Bioethics Research Notes (March 2003, 15: 1, 2)]. Professor Fergal Malone, Master of the Rotunda, said at a meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, that about 30% to 40% of all human conceptions will end in a miscarriage (October 11, 2017). In other words, nature is much less profligate than IVF. It is also the Government’s intention to allow destructive research on ‘supernumerary’ or ‘left–over’ human embryos until the 14th day after fertilization [General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017, PART 7, pp. 143–152]. The law at present allows the deliberate destruction of unborn human life only in the circumstances set out in sections 7, 8, 9 of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, and allows such destruction only ‘after implantation’, not before implantation [see the word ‘unborn’, Intepretation 2. (1), Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013]. That is another reason why the Government want to repeal Article 40.3.3°; and also want to repeal the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013. Pro–lifers would have different reasons for repealing the 2013 Act.
4) Abortion is capital punishment, but of the innocent. Arguably animals are treated more humanely than the human unborn. In most Western democracies the death penalty has been done away with, practically speaking. By allowing abortion, or expanding the permission to abort, we confirm that we are condemning the innocent unborn to death, a very cruel death in the case of surgical abortion. In the Republic of Ireland, if one were to kill a dog the way unborn children are butchered in many abortions, if convicted, one would be heavily fined, if not given a prison sentence.
5) Further liberalization of abortion will make obstetrics a lot riskier, financially. Infection and substantial risk in pregnancy are unpredictable. ‘Lethal’ and ‘fatal’ have no precise meaning in relation to life–limiting conditions. The State annual budget for obstetrics is about €1 billion; 60% of the State medical negligence bill of €1.6 billion is for obstetrics cases. It was admitted by pro-liberalization medics during the meetings of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment that it isn’t possible to predict whether infection in pregnancy will become lethal [remarks of Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of Holles Street, meeting of October 11, 2017]. It was also admitted by the pro–liberalization medics that there is no precise scientific definition of ‘lethal’ or ‘fatal’ in relation to life–limiting conditions [Mr Peter Thompson, loc. cit.]. It was admitted, moreover, that the State’s budget for obstetrics is about €1 billion; 60% of the State’s medical negligence bill of €1.6 billion is for obstetrics cases [remarks of Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of Holles Street, meeting of October 11, 2017]. The logical conclusion is that the push for more abortion has nothing to do with medicine, and a lot to do with litigation. Young doctors in pro–abortion countries are shunning obstetrics and gynaecology, because the young doctors wish to remain faithful to the ancient medical principle of primum non nocere, ‘first, to do no harm.’ The principle of the pro‑liberalization medics clearly is ‘abort first, and ask questions later.’ Remember that at least some of these pro-liberalization medics have a higher salary than the Taoiseach!
6) Wider, free–of–charge, access to contraceptives and abortifacients, doesn’t result in fewer teenage pregnancies. Compulsory sex education for children from a very young age is a form of child sexual abuse, it violates parental rights, conscientious rights and religious liberty. There has actually been a reduction in sexual activity among high school students in the U.S., 2005–2015, and a reduction in pregnancy among high school girls also. In the Report of the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution there was support for free access to contraceptives, and abortifacients, as a way to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies [Chapter 3 – Ancillary Recommendations, pp. 12–15]. The Netherlands was held up as an example to the Republic of Ireland of how to approach the problem. This approach involves downright deception [meeting of November 23, 2017]. The Netherlands actually don’t count abortions in the first several weeks of pregnancy. The pro-liberalization speakers admitted, as have prominent pro‑abortion advocates for decades, that contraceptives and abortifacients have a significant ‘failure’ rate, and later medical abortion, or surgical abortion, are ‘necessary’ in order to deal with these ‘failures’. Economics Professor David Patton of Nottingham University, England, for years has been disputing the claim that wider access to contraceptives and abortifacients is the answer. For a good summary of his ideas, and of those who agree with him, see the version of March 14, 2017, of http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the–fix/wp/2016/05/14/abortion–rates–are . In the Ancillary Recommendations in the Report of the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution it was argued that sex education should be made even more compulsory than it is at present. That would ignore totally the rights of parents to educate their children, and ignore conscientious rights, and rights to freedom of religion. There actually has been a reduction in sexual activity among high school students in the U.S., 2005–2015, and a reduction in pregnancy among high school girls also [‘Sexual Intercourse Among High School Students –– 29 States and U.S. Overall, 2005–2015’, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, January 5, 2018.] The Government are just ignoring all contrary evidence, and intend to apply the above-mentioned part of the Ancillary Recommendations, if voters vote to Repeal the 8th Amendment –– see Fiach Kelly, ‘Proposals to widen access to birth control’, The Irish Times, Saturday, March 24, 2018, p. 6]. Breath–taking cynicism is at work here. Amoral pharmacists and wannabe abortionists will be laughing all the way to the bank, if the Government proceed with this policy.
7) The 12–weeks proposal would mean ‘open season’ on the unborn during those weeks, and there would be ‘open season’ also on the unborn, post 22-weeks, re life–limiting conditions. Decriminalization trivializes abortion. The pro-liberalization speakers, in effect, want ‘open season’ declared on the unborn child in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and for those cases of life-limiting conditions that are not diagnosed earlier than 22 weeks gestation. That demonstrates how irrational allowing ‘a little abortion’ is. Decriminalization of abortion at any stage would just make it a trivial matter. Remember, we are dealing with human life, not a trivial matter.
8) Extreme pro–abortion bias at the Citizens’ Assembly and Oireachtas Joint Committee. What happened the principle ‘hear the other side’? Both the Citizens’ Assembly and the Oireachtas Joint Committee have been extremely open to listening to foreign pro‑abortion campaigners, and even to abortionists, most of whom are not even aware of how many abortions they have performed. At least one abortionist guest, Mr Peter Thompson, couldn’t answer a relatively straightforward question, from Senator Rónán Mullen, on the size of the unborn child at 24 weeks gestation [November 29, 2017], though Mr Thompson has lost count of the number of unborn children whom he has aborted –– hundreds, maybe, thousands even. The Oireachtas Joint Committee voted not to retain in full the Eighth Amendment, long before they had listened to all the witnesses. On the flimsiest of excuses, they refused to listen to pro–life medics, and pro–life advocates. Then these people are accused of not being able to defend their pro-life case. Very few can defend themselves when the judge, jury and executioner, are all the same.
9) Population implosion worldwide, except in Africa. Difficulties with provision of pensions. Further liberalizing the law on abortion in the Republic at present would be insane. Africa is the only continent in today’s world where the population is replacing itself. Europe is in a state of demographic implosion, because of the legalization of abortion, and extreme family limitation. The reason Germany has been very keen to let in a large number of immigrants is because it doesn’t have the native population to do the work the immigrants do. Provision of pensions has already become a very serious problem. If we don’t have enough active young people at work, we’ll not be able to pay pensions. We can’t go on ignoring this problem.
10) Treating some humans as less than human leads to genocide. Classifying certain human beings as being less than human has led in the past to the horrors of genocide, in Ireland even, and in countries such as America, Armenia, Germany, and Australia.
11) The pro–Repeal side is asking us, not just to trust women, but to trust doctors also, and furthermore to trust legislation on abortion entirely to the lawmakers. It isn’t clear from the reference in the Referendum proposal to ‘by law’, whether the legislation on the ‘termination of pregnancy’, that is, abortion, is to be by enactment of the Dáil and Seanad, or simply by Ministerial Order. Some politicians are trustworthy, but we have learned from bitter experience that too many are not. ‘Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.’ If men and women never did any wrong, there would be no need for laws. As Seán Fleming, FF TD, Laois, pointed out in Dáil Éireann, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in a number of recent Referenda, voters voted NO because they saw the proposals as power grabs by politicians, e.g. the 2011 Referendum to allow the Oireachtas to conduct full enquiries; and the 2013 Referendum to abolish Seanad Éireann.
12) Our Referendum system is oligarchic; it isn’t truly democratic. In the Republic of Ireland, a Referendum proposal, if successful, is voted for only by a majority of those voting on the day, not a majority of registered voters. Our Referendum system is not democratic; it is oligarchic. Ordinarily no referendum should be held unless a Pre‑Referendum determines that a majority of registered voters want it held. The result of a follow-on Referendum should be determined again by a majority of registered voters. Besides, as was said above, it is not a fit subject for Referendum to propose to deny an innocent human being his/her right to life. .
Yubei Huang, et al., ‘A meta–analysis of the association between induced abortion
and breast cancer risk among Chinese females’, Cancer Causes Control.
Published online: 24 November 2013.
See ‘Chapter 3 –– Ancillary Recommendations’, pp. 12–15.
Joint Assessment by Fitzpatrick, McGrath and Mullen on the Committee of the 8th Amendment.pdf