Review must address Ireland’s soaring abortion figures and provide positive supports to women in unplanned pregnancy.
Responding to recent indications about the recommendations of the forthcoming three-year review into Ireland’s abortion laws, the Pro Life Campaign (PLC) held an awareness event outside Leinster House on Thursday evening.
Spokesperson Eilís Mulroy outlined the PLC’s response to recent reports and explained her organisation’s approach to the three-year review:
“Our event highlighted several of the important points we believe have regrettably been overlooked in recent discussions on the future of Ireland’s abortion policy. Despite pre-referendum promises from the government, the abortion numbers have soared since 2019, rising by 70+%. In this time, we have seen over 21,000 Irish abortions. This urgently needs to be addressed.
“It’s time to work to identify the reasons why women are having abortions. The government must get serious about providing women in unplanned pregnancies with information on alternatives to abortion and proactively offering life-affirming supports.
“The ‘debate’ on the three-year review has overfocused on topics like the future of the three-day waiting period. Unfortunately, no explanation for why this policy exists in the law has been offered, even by the government. Almost 4,000 women between 2019-21 made a first appointment but decided not to proceed with the abortion. This indicates a significant proportion of these women, in all likelihood the majority, availed of the three-day wait period for reflection, sought or were offered support, and ultimately opted to proceed with their pregnancies.
“Other issues such as freedom of conscience have been discussed in a one-sided way, particularly efforts to erode freedom of conscience and compel medical practitioners into performing abortions against their will. Freedom of conscience was a key promise of the 2018 referendum and must be respected. If anything, freedom of conscience protections should be strengthened. The medical sector benefits from people with strong convictions and an ethical worldview, and attempts to undermine this will have profoundly negative consequences.”
“A full explanation of our recommendations was published in a document, ‘End the Silence’, available on the PLC website. Throughout this process, pro-life voices have unfortunately been excluded. The government must realise that it represents all people, including pro-life citizens.”