Mere months after Ireland passed a referendum to eliminate legal protections for preborn children, its politicians have rejected commonsense protections against discriminatory abortions, as well as protections for infants born alive during abortions.
Pro-life politicians introduced an amendment to legislation legalizing elective abortion that would protect preborn babies from discriminatory abortions based on sex or disability, which lawmakers rejected by a vote of 71 to 21. Irish lawmakers also considered an amendment that would require that efforts be made to preserve the life of a baby born alive in an abortion. That amendment was also rejected, by a vote of 59 to 39.
Ireland’s Health Minister Simon Harris claimed the amendment against discriminatory abortions was unnecessary, saying, “The legislation [legalizing abortion] does not provide for termination of pregnancy to be carried out on the grounds of sex, race or disability,” adding that such protections “stigmatise women.” Harris has thus far also 1) demanded that all elective abortions be paid for with tax dollars, 2) undermined conscience protections for pro-life medical professionals, and 3) wants to ban peaceful pro-life protest outside abortion facilities because it might “cause distress” to women.
TD Michael Collins pointed out the inadequacy of Harris’s defense, stating, “[Harris] would like all of us to believe that if it is not specifically legal to abort on the ground of disability, it will somehow not happen in Ireland. That view is very naïve.” As prenatal screenings become more readily available at earlier gestational ages, it is becoming increasingly possible to screen for disabilities at earlier stages of development. Without adequate information on alternatives, families are often pressured to opt for abortion for no other reason than a child’s potential disability.
In defense of this vote against requiring medical care to babies born alive during abortions, one TD claimed that the legislation was unnecessary because in the event of a born alive infant, “medical ethics would kick in to give every assistance to that baby.”
But in other parts of the world — like the United States — where abortion is legal and caring for babies born alive during abortion is not mandated, this has certainly not been the case. For example, when working as a nurse, Jill Stanek witnessed babies born alive in abortions and left to die, sometimes lingering for hours. And a Planned Parenthood spokesperson has stated that if a child was born alive during an abortion, the fate of that child would be left to the woman and her abortionist to decide:
As previously reported by Live Action News, “Centers for Disease Control data reviewed by the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that ‘[N]ationwide, between 2003 and 2014 at least 143 babies died after being born alive during botched abortions, though the CDC also states this could be an underestimation.'” Live Action News has multiple reports of infants being born alive during abortions who were then either deliberately murdered or were refused lifesaving medical care outside the womb.