Proposed Abortion-On-Demand for Babies Under 3 Months.

In December 2017, a Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment recommended by a margin of 14 votes to 6 that the Eighth Amendment be repealed. It also recommended that abortion should be available ‘without restriction up to 12 weeks’ of pregnancy and in a variety of other circumstances, including where the physical or mental health of the mother is deemed to be at risk. These recommendations broadly matched those of the Citizens’ Assembly. Effectively, the Committee called for abortion-on-demand in Ireland during the first three months of pregnancy.

On 20th December, the Committee published its final report, recommending repeal of the Eighth Amendment. The report says that the current Constitutional provision prohibiting the ‘termination of pregnancy’ in Ireland is unfit for purpose and that Constitutional reform is necessary. Three pro-life members of the Committee described the process as ‘unacceptably flawed’, saying that it had led to cruel and unjust recommendations in the final report. The three members, Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick, Independent Mattie McGrath and Senator Rónán Mullen, issued their own report. They recommended that the Eighth Amendment be retained and the fundamental issue of human rights not be put to a vote. In effect, the Committee on the Eighth Amendment recommended that children could be legally killed in Ireland by majority vote in a referendum, and this despite the unprecedented death-toll of babies worldwide (including over 500 deaths daily across the water in Great Britain). Nearly 9 million deaths have occurred since the British ‘67 Abortion Act passed into law. At the time, the Act recommended that abortion be made available only in the most restrictive of circumstances. The Oireachtas Committee proposed a much more liberal regime in Ireland.

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