Tell the Irish Citizen's Assembly: Don't make the mistake of legalising abortion
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Irish Citizen's Assembly: Do not make the same mistakes other countries have made on abortion.
For the Attention of Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, Chairman of the Irish Citizens' Assembly (2016):
At the invitation of the Citizens' Assembly, as outlined under the first point of the "Submissions Rules/Guidelines" heading, on the "Submissions" page of your website, we, the undersigned, are joining this submission which CitizenGO have organised and promoted to "citizens and non-citizens living in Ireland or living abroad".
In brief, the submission below calls attention to the dreadful consequences which other countries have experienced after introducing legalised abortion, and, then, clearly calls for the retention of the 8th Amendment in Ireland.
But, before launching into the Submission, let us define what we mean by "abortion". For the purposes of this Submission, we assert that abortion is the intentional destruction of unborn human life anytime after conception occurs.
Submission PART 1
A. The introduction of legalised abortion on "limited grounds" generally leads to abortion-on-demand.
In countries where abortion has been introduced on "limited grounds" (e.g., in the case of rape, or life-limiting conditions), more liberal abortion regimes generally follow, and, consequently, more human beings are killed by abortion.
For example, when introduced into law in 1967, the British Abortion Act was meant to be "restrictive" in nature. But, now, Britain has an abortion rate four times higher than the Irish abortion rate - 21% vs 5%. That means that one in five pregnancies in Britain now end in abortion.
David Steel, who is the author of the British Abortion Act, has been quoted as saying: "I never envisaged that there would be so many abortions."
And, according to the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate in the US went from about 16 per 1000 women in 1973 (the year the Roe vs Wade ruling was handed down by the US Supreme Court), to 29 per 1000 women in 1979. So, in only 6 short years after legalising abortion in all 50 states, the abortion rate had doubled.
Take-away 1: Introducing legalised abortion leads to more abortions, not fewer...and, generally, a lot more than anticipated. Facilitating easy access in Ireland will needlessly remove the time people now have to reflect on the situation, which leads many to choose life over death.
Take-away 2: Since each abortion is a real, violent destruction of a fellow human being, the value of human life is degraded, and society, generally, can begin to view the human person as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. Regrettably, then, human life can then be seen as disposable.
B. The introduction of legalised abortion means that more disabled children will be killed by abortion.
Countries which have legalised abortion on the grounds of "foetal abnormality" see a nearly 180-degree change in the attitude towards giving every child - no matter disability or infirmity - his/her chance at life.
In spite of the incessant promotion of abortion in the case of so-called "fatal foetal abnormalities" by the Irish media outlets, 90% of Irish parents, who learn that their unborn children have a life-limiting condition, choose life for their children. These parents recognise the humanity of their unborn children, and, as such, allow them to live their lives, short though they may be.
They recognise that their unborn children - as fellow human beings - have a right-to-life. And, in the womb, these unborn children do not suffer - so there is no reason to consider abortion on "compassionate" grounds.
In countries where legalised abortion has been introduced, very high percentages of unborn children diagnosed with disabilities (and, often, healthy children, under the suspicion of disability) are aborted.
For example, the Jerome Lejeune Society estimates that 67% of all unborn babies with Down Syndrome in the US are aborted.
In Switzerland, 87% of all pregnancies involving Down Syndrome are aborted, while in France the figure is at 86%.
And, in some countries, like in Denmark and China, children with Down Syndrome are literally disappearing from society. In China, abortion is permitted until the 9th month of pregnancy in the case of Down Syndrome.
In the cases of Anencephaly, Trisomy 13, Trisomy 18 and Potter's Syndrome, which often result in shortness of life, peri-natal hospice care can provide the baby and parents with the care they require, allowing the child to live his/her life, however long that may be.
Take-away 1: A life-limiting condition is a hard diagnosis, but it does not make the baby any less human. As such, that unborn child is deserving of the dignity and respect of any other human being.
Take-away 2: Easier access to abortion, and especially legalising abortion on the grounds of foetal disability debases any society which pursues that end. Taking the lives of disabled unborn babies, who are completely helpless and vulnerable, raises the spectre of eugenics-based discrimination.
C. For women involved in abortions, "choice" is often a euphemism for "coercion".
In the US, one study (for the Medical Science Monitor) showed that 64% of abortions involved some form of coercion. Coercion, here, can be defined as the feared loss of a job, home, family or, even of violent assault.
In another study done on women seeking post-abortion help (David Reardon), 83% of the respondents said that they would have carried the baby to term if they had received some form of help from the baby's father, their family, or from some other source.
Take-away 1: Unexpected pregnancy often results in panic and desperation, especially among single mothers. But, that panic and desperation can never justify the taking of an innocent unborn child's life.
Take-away 2: Instead of discussing if, and, or, how the 8th Amendment can be repealed, the Citizens' Assembly would do better to discuss how to best mitigate crisis pregnancies, whether by more provision from the Irish State, to alleviate the panic and desperation, or by encouraging different elements of civil society to take a more active role in the same.
Submission PART 2
Having reviewed the above side-effects of legalising abortion in other jurisdictions, we, the undersigned call on the Citizens' Assembly, and the Irish Government, to retain the 8th Amendment - keeping the status quo, as is - and, instead focus on making better provision for women in crisis pregnancies.
None of us has the right to play God, and none of us has the authority to dictate which categories of human being are worthy of life, and which are not worthy of life.
All human beings, by virtue of our humanity, are worthy of life.
Thank you for your careful consideration.