As the eve of Ireland’s Eighth Amendment referendum vote approaches, Save the 8th has begun their “12 Weeks Campaign” following a statement by the Irish Disabilities Minister that the vote is going to favor a repeal of the Abortion amendment.

Since at least 1861, Abortion has been illegal in Ireland. At the time, the British ruled over  the Irish isles and had enacted a law making abortion punishable by life in prison throughout the United Kingdom. In 1983, Catholic Ireland codified this position into law with the Eighth Amendment that recognized the right to life of the unborn, in contrast to most European countries denying the right to life of the unborn.

“The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.” – Article 40.3.3 [Eighth Amendment]

In 1983, the Irish populace took a vote in the national referendum with over two-thirds of the country voting to extend legal protections to the unborn. In a little over a month, on May 25th, the Irish voters will be going to the polls for a second time, however the matter up for debate will be the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

This past Monday, Ireland’s Disabilities Minister publicly commented he believed the referendum to repeal the Eight Amendment will be won 60% yes to 40% no.

“I believe in the equality of women in every area of Irish life – hence my support for the repeal campaign. I believe it will be 60 – 40. I know from my own constituency Dublin Bay North, that would be the kind of view that I am getting” – Finian McGrath

In response, the Prolife group “Save the 8th” started their 12 Weeks Campaign in efforts to turn the tide and keep the Eight Amendment firmly placed in the lawbooks. The campaign shows social media users a video of a scan of an unborn baby at 12 weeks gestation, and asks if the unborn child is deserved of constitutional rights. The video is being promoted to Facebook users over the age of 18 in Ireland. Group official Niamh Ui Bhriain said that:

“The scan shows clearly a developing child, with identifiable form of a human being, moving and kicking inside the womb. The Irish people are being asked to give their approval for a proposal that would allow such children to be legally killed. Many people believe that at 12 weeks, they are voting on ‘a clump of cells’. The simplest look at a 12-week scan proves this to be untrue.”

Catholic Bishops in Ireland have also taken up the cause and are speaking out against the referendum. Bishop John Dudley of the diocese of Cork and Ross sent out a pastoral letter to almost 300,000 Catholics across 68 parishes to warn about the slippery slope of attitudes towards human life if the amendment is repealed.

“We can be sure that if a society decides that human life is disposable at its beginning, it will not be too long before it decides the same for human life at its end … human life is sacred and precious … this is true in every moment of life from its first beginning to its natural end.”

Bishop Denis Nulty of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin said the “hard truth” is once society denies the unborn’s right to life, “we can no longer defend ourselves from what flows from an abortion culture.” To him, voting “no” is not enough, saying that:

“The real challenge for us is to work even harder to strengthen a culture that values all life. Being pro-life must mean that we advocate for all who are in need of protection in our society. Let us rededicate ourselves to this essential and blessed task.”

The Eight Amendment referendum is due to take place just three months before Pope Francis is expected to visit the country during the World Meeting of Families, taking place in Dublin on August 21st to the 26th of 2018.

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  1. This is a difficult situation. The realities are right to life versus quality of life for me. A unwanted pregnancy usually gets terminated because of one of these reasons: 1. Casual sex led to it. 2. Irresponsible youth did not have protective sex to avoid the possibility of getting pregnant. 3. Dysfunctional relationship such as trying to hold onto a man led to pregnancy. 4. Poor women not using birth control. These reasons don’t bring a baby into a loving normal environment from day of birth. On the other hand in young adulthood having a more responsible life is expected and thus no excuses for a unwanted pregnancy…should not take place. The fact is abortion early on does occur and can change a woman if she seeks to change from it to conform to doing better. Now, I know I have laid this in the lap of a woman. So rape pure and simple is evil and a woman’s well being should in my opinion allow for a abortion. We live in a day and age where yes the unborn should have a right to life at a certain point. I say 8 weeks acceptable. Within 2 months when a woman has had time to think about all the ramifications if she were to have this baby. Of course adoption is a solution for some. Being I was adopted my perspective is with bias. Just know this not all babies get adopted by age 2 things change. The family brought into may not be the right fit.

  2. So killing early enough is okay, but not when the ultrasound shows the fetus sucking her thumb? This is a very slippery slope. I don’t mean to sound harsh…If you look at those who are sponsoring the abortion agenda, they are not friends to the disabled, the poor, the hurting, or the confused.

    If given time and a helping hand, most women would love their child conceived in dire circumstances like abandonment and rape.

    The same people who want to enlighten us women on abortion are the ones who will end the life of those who are burdening their pockets when they become old and frail without their permission of course due to “quality of life.”

    When abortion comes to a country the whole country becomes coarse, ugly and unkind. Let us hope and pray that the Minster of Disabilities is wrong and Ireland will do the right thing.

    Life is always a better answer than death. Always.

  3. Yes, LE. I agree with you wholeheartedly. This is a slippery slope and though the argument seems to stem from mercy, where are the BOUNDARIES? That is why it is God’s plan NOT OURS and why the Church teaches what it does. There was a story about a man who broke into a home with persons with disabilities and he killed them ALL citing “quality of life”. Very scary.


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