Almost a month after the referendum passed to repeal Ireland’s constitutional right to life, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has now stated that Catholic hospitals will be forced to perform abortions.

In 1983, Catholic Ireland recognized the right to life of the unborn after two thirds of the country voted on a national referendum to pass the Eighth Amendment, in contrast to most European countries at the time denying the right to life of the unborn. Just last month, Ireland again voted but this time on a referendum to repeal the Eight Amendment, with two thirds of the country voting to remove legal protections for the unborn.

A month after the results of the referendum came out, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar spoke to Dáil, the Irish Parliament, to clarify how the decision would impact publicly funded Catholic hospitals. He stated that while individuals will be able to opt out of performing abortions, entire hospitals will not be able to do so.

“Legislation will allow individuals to opt out based on their consciences or their religious convictions but will not allow institutions to do so. It will not be possible for publicly-funded hospitals, no matter who their patron or owner is, to opt out of providing these necessary services, which will be legal in this state once this legislation is passed by the Dáil (parliament) and Seanad (senate).”

Catholic religious orders own two of Dublin’s biggest hospitals. Saint Vincent’s University Hospital is owned by the Sisters of Charity, while the Sisters of Mary own the Mater Hospital. In Ireland, these “voluntary” hospitals are funded by charitable contributions, and have historic ties to the Church and follow Catholic moral theology.

In his statement to parliament, Varadkar said “I’m happy to give you that assurance,” in regards to forcing Catholic voluntary hospitals to perform abortions.

“Hospitals like for example Holles Street, which is a Catholic voluntary ethos hospital, the Mater, St Vincent’s and others will be required, and will be expected to, carry out any procedure that is legal in this state and that is the model we will follow.”

In response, Irish Bishops released a statement objecting to the proposal that doctors who abstained from performing abortions would have to provide a referral to a physician that would.

“It would be a great injustice to require doctors and nurses to participate, even by referral, in the provision of services which would be a serious violation of their conscience. This would only be a way of pretending to respect freedom of conscience while actually requiring one person to cooperate in what he or she sincerely believes is the wrong-doing of another. Such a presumption is at variance with the right to conscientious objection.”

In March earlier this year, a survey of physicians in Ireland asked if they would perform abortions: nearly 70 percent of the physicians asked responded that they would be unwilling to perform abortions.

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  1. Why is the Prime Minister of Ireland, Indian?

    Indians are not from Europe. They should not be telling a Catholic country how to treat their children. They are polytheistic and are also bothering people in the United States. We should have no immigration from that country. They are taking over everyone else’s land and telling people to commit murder. Ireland and the United States are not responsible for India’s over population. Why would you elect him?

    • God doesn’t judge a man by the colour of his skin but by his actions and intentions. The Irish PM being Indian(? – I don’t know his actual ethnic origin) is irrelevant and certainly not helpful to the argument. Many from the Indian subcontinent are faithful Catholics. They number in millions although they are still a minority in relation to the Hindu population.

      You really can’t be a faithful follower of Christ and fling about racist comments. The issues of life are too important and complicated to be able to be solved a one-stop solution, by blaming one ethnicity and then seeking to deport it (and presumably the problem you identify with it). I’m British, and we tried that with the so called ‘criminal classes’ by deportation to Australia. Didn’t work then, and won’t work now with the Irish PM!

      We are in the end times. Satan knows he has little time left to try and destroy the Holy Church i.e. Christ’s faithful. The end will not come until the great apostasy (which is foretold by St. Paul) and the fall of Ireland to the will of Satan I regard as just another part of the Church’s sufferings that mirror Christ’s suffering on the Cross before He died. Indeed, although we know He rose after three days and hope in Him, He did say ‘when the Son of Man returns will He find any faith on earth?’

      So the Lord is coming soon, love your enemies but do not kow-tow to them. Witness for Christ by your love, and, especially, cut out of your heart all your prejudices. The Irish PM will one day have to face Jesus, but so will we all; there are many ways to perdition, the road is wide and well travelled, but the path to salvation is hard and the gate is narrow, and many there are who seek it but do not find it.

  2. the Church will undergo great persecutions, the best thing we can do is prayer for hiz honor the PM of Ireland, no, certain people will be blessed with the courage of their convictions even while someone hold a gun to their head, pray like you have never prayed for the conversion of sinners and those who so strenuously oppose the fatih


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