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To: Candidates – Meath West Constituency
Dep. Shane Cassells
Dep. Peadar Toibín
Min. Damien English
Dear Oireachtas Member,
Health Minister Simon Harris is claiming doctors’ freedom of conscience is protected in his proposed new abortion law. It most definitely is not.
The draft legislation compels doctors who don’t want to perform abortions to refer those seeking an abortion to a medical colleague who will carry out the procedure. This is a grave violation of a doctor’s freedom of conscience and right to have no part in facilitating abortion either by directly carrying it out or, indirectly, by arranging it.
Forcing doctors to make such referrals makes them morally complicit in the abortion, since as a direct consequence of their referral a baby will have his or her life ended.
It doesn’t matter how many times the Government describe its proposal as “healthcare”, abortion up to 12 weeks for any reason and up to birth on vague unspecified “health” grounds is not healthcare. In truth, the proposed new law is nothing more than an open attack on the most vulnerable and defenceless members of the human family.
I am calling on you, as my local Oireachtas Member, to insist that doctors’ freedom of conscience is fully protected by removing the legal obligation to refer patients to individuals or facilities that provide abortion.
Aside from the freedom of conscience issue, a vote in favour of the legislation itself is a vote for one of the most extreme abortion laws anywhere in the world. As your constituent, I urge you to reflect deeply on the actual reality of what you are being asked to vote for as opposed to the sanitised and misleading version that was presented to the public before the referendum vote. The Government’s proposal is without question the cruelest and most unjust bill ever scheduled to come before the Dáil. For this reason, in addition to securing freedom of conscience rights for doctors, I call on you to boldly take a stand for life and vote against the Government’s bill in its entirety when the opportunity presents itself.
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