Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dublin's archbishop, Irish prime minister clash on proposed abortion law

Catholic World News - May 17, 2013

Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has protested that a proposed change in Ireland’s ban on abortion could lead to the death of unborn children who are capable of independent survival outside the womb. But Prime Minister Enda Kenny has flatly denied the charge.

The proposed law would allow for abortion in cases in which a doctor finds that the mother’s life is in danger. The legislation specifically states that thoughts of suicide should be considered a danger, so that a woman could obtain an abortion if she said she was thinking of killing herself. In a letter to the Irish Times, Archbishop Martin said that his particular concern with the proposed legislation regards the “protection of perfectly healthy unborn children at a stage of their development where there is the clear presumption that they are viable outside the womb.” The legislation appears to allow for the destruction of these children, he said, when the best medical practice would be to remove them from the womb in a way that gave them the best chance for life. Archbishop Martin reminded readers that the Irish constitution protects the right to life of an unborn child. He observed that the “X case,” which has been cited by the government as requiring a change in Irish law, “does not supersede or relativise the clear constitutional right to equal protection for unborn life.”

Kenny responded that the legislation is “about saving lives,” and in the case of a viable fetus, doctors should take all possible steps to save the child’s life as well. He repeated that the legislation to allow legal abortion in some cases was “about saving lives.”

The Irish prime minister made the astonishing claim that the proposed law “obviously doesn’t change the legislation on abortion.” In a related development, a prominent physician said that the government's proposal would create a "moral dilemma" for doctors, because there is no evidence to support the assumption that abortion would be an appropriate medical response to suicidal tendencies. Dr. Sam Coulter Smith told legislators that the bill would be "asking obstetricians to get involved in the termination of pregnancy when there is little evidence to show that it is an appropriate intervention."

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our August expenses ($20,922 to go):
$35,000.00 $14,078.44
60% 40%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Dan - May. 17, 2013 6:39 PM ET USA

    Maybe the Taoiseach can clarify and expound on his effort to "save lives" by aborting lives while receiving an honorary degree and giving the Commencement Address at Catholic, er, Jesuit Boston College?

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Difficult Decisions in the Real World 18 hours ago
The real reason why divorced/remarried German Catholics are leaving the Church 19 hours ago
An unexpected surge in confessions? August 21
The Problem with Catholic Social Teaching August 21
In Iraq, the Pope has good reason to seek intervention, but fear unilateral US action August 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8