This week, the Labour Party renewed its support for censorship zones outside abortion facilities and gave an undertaking to keep pushing for peaceful pro-life outreach to be made a criminal offence.

This is the same Labour Party that introduced a Bill in 2016 to regulate pregnancy counselling in Ireland, which if given effect would have ruled out any counselling support to women that mentioned positive alternatives to abortion.

The Labour Party claimed their proposed new law would put an end to ‘rogue agencies’ in the area of pregnancy counselling and enlisted the help of the Irish Planning Association in the drafting of their Bill.

The fact that the Irish Family Planning Association itself is the epitome of a rogue agency didn’t seem to bother the Labour Party in the least. Some years back, the Irish Family Planning Association was caught on tape by a national newspaper advising women to lie to their doctors and say they had a miscarriage in the event that they had physical complications after their abortion – advise that a former Master of a Dublin maternity hospital described as ‘life-endangering’.

The Labour Party’s latest intervention into the abortion debate calling for censorship zones and the continuation of government backing for ‘DIY’ home abortions is proof that there’s no reappraisal taking place within the party on issues like abortion, even for the standpoint that their push for abortion in the past produced no political dividend for the party and if anything cost them seats in subsequent elections. It is another reminder of why we need to back pro-life TDs and candidates at every available opportunity.