The Pro Life Campaign has hit out at Independent TD, Mick Wallace, over his plan to introduce a bill to extend the abortion law.
The Deputy’s proposal would make abortion an option in situations where the unborn child has a terminal illness.
The Wexford TD’s private members’ bill follows a proposal tabled last
week by another Independent, Clare Daly, which also seeks to make
abortion available in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities.
Responding to these developments, PLC spokesperson, Caroline Simons,
described Mick Wallace’s proposal as “further evidence of a focus on
abortion, rather than care, in the case of babies with terminal
“In these difficult situations, families should be offered adequate
support through peri-natal hospice care facilities after receiving poor
pre-natal diagnoses,” she said.
“Deputy Wallace’s continues to describe terminally ill babies as
‘non-viable’ and ‘incompatible with life’. Not only are this
descriptions misleading but it is deeply hurtful to families whose
babies live or lived with a terminal illness to describe their children
as ‘non-viable’ or ‘incompatible with life’,” Caroline Simons commented.
“Describing the ending of the life of a terminally ill baby as
‘medical treatment’ is simply not acceptable. A medical treatment is one
that aims to save a life not end one.”
“Many families who have received a poor pre-natal diagnosis have
experienced much more precious time with their child than originally
expected, or found that their child’s illness was not as serious as
originally thought or in some cases there was nothing wrong at all.”
“The discussion in the Dáil and much of the media on this issue has
become completely one-sided. It is time for a more open and honest
debate. This latest proposal from Mick Wallace and that of Clare Daly
last week, fail to examine possible alternatives.”
In the Dáil, Deputy Wallace asked for leave to be granted to
introduce a bill entitled an act to permit medical treatment leading to
termination of pregnancy in situations where the foetus has a fatal
abnormality such that it is incompatible with life outside of the womb.
He told the chamber that this bill would allow for an abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities.
“Although the Government had a chance to include such cases in its
Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, it failed to do so by
bowing to pressure from right-wing anti-abortion advocates,” Deputy
He claimed that this had left “many people in unnecessarily stressful
situations where they know that their pregnancies are unviable. This
means that women are either forced to continue with those pregnancies in
the full knowledge that the foetuses will not survive or must travel to
England to seek terminations.”
He also commented that the Government “seems to accept that women’s
health care needs should be taken care of by Britain regardless of the
added stresses that this entails for women in need of care or the
cruelty it inflicts on people in distress.”
He said he applauded the continued efforts of the campaign group
Termination for Medical Reasons, including its recent submission to the
UN Human Rights Committee.
Meanwhile, the PLC has responded to the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) questioning of Ireland’s abortion laws.
The Pro Life Campaign criticised the UN Committee for neglecting
basic human rights, claming the Committee Against Torture had “never
voiced concern over babies born alive after abortion and left to die.”
PLC spokesperson Cora Sherlock said a committee under the auspices of
the UN “should be promoting a gold standard of care and respect for
life rather than callously affirming abortion.”
“For a body that derives its moral authority from the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms everyone’s right to life, it
is tragic that this Committee is inverting that standard of human rights
by calling on Ireland to allow for the destruction of innocent unborn
“Where do the members of the UN Committee Against Torture stand on
the rights of babies born alive after abortion and left to die?” Cora
“We know the answer to this question. The Committee Against Torture
has never voiced concern on this matter or challenged this situation in
countries where we know it happens.”
“For example, the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child
Health, 2007 commissioned by the UK Government, found that 66 infants
survived NHS termination attempts in hospitals in England and Wales
“Instead of dying during the abortion procedure as intended, they
survived and were able to breathe unaided. But they received no medical
attention or care and were left in corners to die. One of the babies
lived for ten hours.”
“What is more tortuous than this and how can the United Nations
Committee Against Torture remain silent on this barbaric practice?” she