IFPA Ignores Humanity of Unborn Children and the
Negative Effects of Abortion on Women
In response to the Irish Family Planning Association’s proposals seeking abortion legislation in Ireland, a spokesperson for Offaly Pro-Life said:
Offaly Pro-Life Campaign will robustly oppose any attempts by the IFPA to introduce abortion legislation. As an organisation the IFPA has consistently shown disregard for the rights of unborn children while also ignoring the negative after effects of abortion on women.
For the IFPA to argue that abortion is necessary to protect women’s health is simply scaremongering. Ireland without legal abortion is a recognised world leader in safeguarding women’s lives during pregnancy.
Every society has to confront the reality of crisis pregnancy. But legal abortion is not the answer. The challenge is to create a more welcoming society for expectant mothers and their unborn children by providing positive alternatives to abortion. Abortion regimes exist in many countries with abortion legal up to birth. Under these conditions it is impossible for society to claim to be defenders of human rights. Without the right to life all other rights are meaningless.
The Crisis Pregnancy Agency must immediately review its continued funding of the IFPA, given that it is manifestly a political campaigning organisation.
Offaly Pro-Life Campaign will issue a more detailed response to the IFPA’s proposals at a later date.
Pro-Life Campaign Chairperson
calls on Government to Respect Human Life
The Chairperson of The Pro-Life Campaign, Dr Joe McCarroll was in Offaly last Wednesday evening and addressed a well-attended branch meeting of Offaly Pro-Life Campaign, which was held in the Bridge House, Tullamore. At the meeting Dr McCarroll raised concerns about the recent report of the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction, which called for destructive human embryonic research.
Dr McCarroll told the meeting:
It is very encouraging to The Pro-Life Campaign to have the support of so many members around the country.
“In a constitutional democracy based on equality before the law, some values, some rights are non-negotiable. First among these is the right to life. Everyone shares the same hope of finding treatments for infertility and cures for diseases. But the challenge we face is to find such cures without doing harm to others.
Far from being enlightened, the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction squandered a unique opportunity by failing to prioritise adult stem cell research and by failing to vindicate the rights of the human embryo”.
Dr McCarroll continued:
“Adult stem cell research is non-controversial, is ethically acceptable and is already showing significant results. Ireland should undertake to play a pioneering role in this area, with a view to becoming an internationally acclaimed centre of excellence for such research. If on the other hand the Commission’s recommendations were implemented, it would have profound and far-reaching implications for the respect we place on human life in this country.”
The Pro-Life Campaign will lobby the Government on the CAHR Report in the coming months as well as lobbying for reforms of the Crisis Pregnancy Agency over its Positive Options leaflet which the Pro-Life Campaign says promotes abortion.
Dr Mc Carroll said:
“It is utterly nonsensical to have a leaflet advertising abortion as a ‘positive option’ funded by the taxpayers”.
Press release is an initial response to the
Report of the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction
This press release is an initial response to the Report of the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction. We will of course be studying it in greater detail over the coming weeks and will bring forward a more detailed analysis and critique at a later stage.
In a constitutional democracy based on equality before the law, some values, some rights are non-negotiable. First among these is the right to life. It is a matter of grave concern, therefore, that the Commission should propose the destruction of vulnerable human lives through research on human embryos, whether ‘surplus’ or generated by ‘therapeutic cloning’, while at the same time extolling high ethical standards. The Commission has also shown complete disregard for human rights by proposing that no legal protection should be afforded to unborn human life outside the womb. Offaly Pro-Life Campaign will vehemently oppose any such move.
CAHR’s recommendations are in stark contrast to the ethical sense of the general public as reflected in the poll findings released by the Pro-Life Campaign last week.
Everyone in society shares the same hope of finding treatments for infertility and cures for diseases. But the challenge we face is to find these cures without doing harm to others. We fully concur with the dissenting report of Professor Gerry Whyte in which he states inter alia that “the individual must be treated as an end in himself/herself and cannot be regarded as a means to an end”.
The Commission has squandered a unique opportunity to follow a more ethical pathway by failing to prioritise adult stem cell research and by failing to vindicate the rights of the human embryo. A much more enlightened approach of protecting early human life under the law was enacted by the Italian legislature in 2004.
Adult stem cell research is non-controversial, is ethically acceptable and is already showing significant results. Ireland should undertake to play a pioneering role in this area, with a view to becoming an internationally acclaimed centre of excellence for adult stem cell research. If on the other hand the Commission’s recommendations were implemented, it would have profound and far-reaching implications for the respect we place on human life in this country.
A brief overview of the report leaves us with the distinct impression that the Commission on Assisted Reproduction, far from reflecting the moderate views of the middle ground, has, instead, adopted a much more extreme position. We are confident that as the debate on this issue opens up, the report’s recommendations will be found to be out of touch with the views of Irish public opinion.
Offaly Pro-Life Campaign notes that the report and its recommendations are to be handed over to an All-Party Oireachtas Committee and looks forward to contributing in that forum to the public debate on the important issues raised in the report.
9th May 2005
Offaly Pro-Life Welcomes Polls which Reveal
Solid Support for Pro-Life Position
Recently, the Pro-Life Campaign commissioned Millward Brown/IMS to conduct research on a range of life issues. It is the first comprehensive survey undertaken by the Campaign since the abortion referendum of 2002.
Offaly Pro-Life supported the Government’s proposal then as it restored legal protection to the unborn and guaranteed necessary medical treatment for expectant mothers.
A referendum was necessary following the 1992 Supreme Court decision in the X Case, which legalised abortion in potentially wide circumstances, even up to birth. Following the defeat of the 2002 referendum the situation remains precarious and unresolved. In the absence of a referendum to put things right, legislation on foot of the X Case decision would have to allow induced abortion.
Since every human life has an inherent value, we intend in the future to campaign for another referendum to restore legal protection to the unborn. It would be imprudent, however, to seek such a referendum in advance of a wide-ranging public discussion on the matter. Over the coming months, Offaly Pro-Life will play its part in initiating a renewed public debate on the importance of clarity in the law on the right to life, culminating at some point in another referendum.
The fact that an issue is difficult and fraught with sensitivity is no excuse for not meeting the challenge. In some countries the refusal to engage in debate has resulted in abortion being permitted throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy. At the same time, amazing advances in ultrasound technology illuminate the fact that the unborn child is a human being, laying waste to the notion that it is merely a “clump of cells”.
Every society has to address the issue. Whether it’s the work of the Crisis Pregnancy Agency or the need for Constitutional change, we must be guided by principles that respect the dignity and value of every human life. A society that fails to vindicate these basic rights cannot claim with any degree of credibility to be a defender of human rights.
The questions addressed public attitudes regarding a prohibition on induced abortion and the possibility of introducing legislative safeguards to protect human life from destructive embryonic research.
Polling was conducted by Millward Brown/IMS. Interviewing took place from the 6th to the 22nd February 2005. A representative sample of 1,085 adults aged 18 years and over was questioned, by personal interviews at 60 locations throughout the Republic of Ireland. The sample quota was controlled for sex, age, social class, region and area of residence, to ensure representation of the adult population.
To Question 1,
“If the government were to propose a constitutional amendment to prohibit abortion but allow the continuation of the existing practice of intervention to save a mother's life, in accordance with Irish medical ethics, would you support such an amendment in a Referendum or not?”,
54% would support such an amendment, 15% would oppose it, and 30% were undecided or had no opinion.
78% of those who expressed an opinion favour the amendment and 22% opposed it.
The result of Question 1 highlights broad public support for a clear opportunity to protect the unborn child, while safeguarding Ireland’s record as a world leader in maternal care.
Question 2 was:
“Currently, experimentation involving the destruction of human embryos does not take place in Ireland. Do you think the DÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡il should enshrine the protection of the human embryo in law, or not?”
The response to this question indicates that 48% would support legal protection of the human embryo, 14% were opposed to it, and 39% were undecided or had no opinion.
Of those who expressed an opinion, 78% favoured the legislation and 22% opposed it.
Clarity in the law is an indispensable component in creating a more life-affirming society. The alternative is to introduce abortion in vague and ill-defined terms, eventually leading to abortion on demand. These poll findings indicate wide public support for legal remedies to restore protection to the unborn child and enshrine new protection against deliberate destruction of human embryos. Offaly Pro-Life will seek the support of politicians for these important changes going forward and initiate a wide-ranging public discussion on the matter. It is also our intention to intensify the campaign for additional resources to meet the needs of women in crisis pregnancy in order to build a more authentic and welcoming society for expectant mothers and their unborn children.