Speaking earlier today, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, made the claim that the 8th Amendment has not stopped abortion in Ireland.
Responding to his remarks, Dr Ruth Cullen of the Pro Life Campaign said: “In making those comments, Micheál Martin is ignoring the reality that Ireland’s abortion rate is a fraction of that in other European nations. For example, in Britain, 1 in 5 of all babies are aborted. It is precisely the 8th Amendment that prevents UK-style abortion from taking root here.
She continued: “Based on comparative abortion rates in similar European countries, the 8th Amendment saves approximately 5,000 lives per year. Every abortion is a tragedy, for both mother and baby, no matter where it is performed. The fact that the 8th Amendment does not prevent every Irish abortion is no reason to remove it. After all, Deputy Martin’s own pioneering smoking ban, which saves approximately 350 lives per year, has neither eradicated smoking nor prevented every smoking related death. By his own logic, Deputy Martin should campaign for it to be repealed.
“Deputy Martin’s claim that the 8th Amendment doesn’t stop abortions will come as some surprise to the many families who say that they would have chosen abortion if it was easily available when they faced unintended pregnancies, but are relieved now that they didn’t and that their child’s life was saved. But then again, Deputy Martin has not taken the time to meet these families, nor to meet with groups representing women who have suffered from post-abortion regret. It is simply stunning that the leader of the Opposition made his decision in favour of Repeal without ever listening to experiences like these.”