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Irish bishops again urge lawmakers to reject abortion legislation, prepare for legal challenge

Catholic World News - July 09, 2013

The bishops of Ireland have sent a “briefing note” to lawmakers in another attempt to persuade them to reject abortion legislation. The bishops are also reportedly preparing a constitutional challenge if the bill is enacted.

A spokesman for the bishops' conference said that the bishops will take legal action if, as expected, the bill allowing legal abortion is approved. The bishops will argue that the legislation violates the Irish constitution by failing to provide equal protection of law to unborn humans.

In their message to lawmakers, after detailing how the legislation would “fundamentally alter the culture and practice of medical care in Ireland,” the bishops observed that the bill “accepts the premise that abortion is an appropriate response to suicidal ideation. This is contrary to substantial medical evidence.”

“The bill also creates a number of serious moral, legal, and constitutional conflicts in the area of freedom of conscience and religious belief,” the bishops added. “The bill provides for conscientious objection by ‘any medical practitioner, nurse or midwife’ only. It excludes others who may be obliged to co-operate in providing abortion services against their conscience or religious belief.”

“The operation of this clause is also unacceptable because it involves a form of co-operation in evil by obliging those who conscientiously object to knowingly put the patient in to the care of medical personnel who will carry out an abortion,” the bishops continued. “In effect, therefore, medical personnel are being given no choice but to cooperate in an abortion.”

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