Rorate Caeli

Just in time for Christmas!
Irish government issues first step in the liberalization of abortion

[Update: Statement by the Archbishops - see end of post.]

"There will be no free vote on this," Taoiseach Enda Kenny says. That is, who cares about conscience anyway? An anti-Catholic "free Ireland", who would have thought?...

Government unveils plans to address abortion ruling
Dec. 18, 2012

The Government announced today that a combination of legislation and regulations will be introduced to comply with the European Court of Human Rights ruling in the A, B and C case.

Minister for Health James Reilly presented a memorandum to this morning’s Cabinet meeting. The decision was taken to follow this route – the fourth option from the expert group on abortion - rather than proposing guidelines, an option favoured by anti-abortion campaign groups.
Fine Gael: when you can't do anything about the euro, just go after the babies
A statement released by the Department of Health said: "Having considered the report of the of the Expert Group on the judgment in A, B and C v Ireland the Government has decided that the implementation of this judgement by way of legislation with regulations offers the most appropriate method for dealing with the issue."

In a statement, the Government said the drafting of legislation, supported by regulations, will be within the parameters of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court in the X case. "It was also agreed to make appropriate amendments to the criminal law in this area," it said.

The Heads of a Bill will be published in the new year following deliberations by the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children in early January, before the Dáil resumes.This will be followed by a debate in the Oireachtas before the Bill and regulations are finalised.

"The Government has also noted and agreed to the request from the Health Minister Dr James Reilly for further decisions at a later stage related to policy matters that will inform the drafting of the legislation," the statement said.

Dr Reilly said he was very conscious of the sensitivities around the issue of abortion.

“I know that most people have personal views on this matter. However, the Government is committed to ensuring that the safety of pregnant women in Ireland is maintained and strengthened. We must fulfill our duty of care towards them," he said.

“For that purpose, we will clarify in legislation and regulation what is available by way of treatment to a woman when a pregnancy gives rise to a threat to a woman’s life. We will also clarify what is legal for the professionals who must provide that care while at all times taking full account of the equal right to life of the unborn child.”

Dr Reilly said the Government would not “preempt the debate that must follow by speculating on details to be decided later in the process”.

The Government is expected to allow the fear of suicide as a ground for abortion but may not provide for rape or sexual abuse, neither of which formed part of the X case ruling. On foot of the decision, the Government is also expected to repeal provisions in the Offences against the State Act 1861, which criminalises abortion.

The Taoiseach said yesterday the Government whip would be applied. “There will be no free vote on this,” he said.

It came after Dublin Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy called for a free vote, a call echoed by Young Fine Gael. While Mr Murphy said he supported the Government’s preferred option, the inclusion of suicide may become a matter of major contention within Fine Gael. Labour TDs are expected to back the measure.

At least a dozen of the party’s Deputies have indicated they have concerns over it being included as a ground for abortion, including Minister of State Lucinda Creighton; John O’Mahony; James Bannon; Regina Doherty: and John Paul Phelan.

“The uncertainty for many of us stems from the issue of including suicide in legislating for the X case. It is difficult for somebody who has a genuine fear that once the door is open it will not be capable of being closed,” Ms Doherty said.

Equally, many Fine Gael TDs have expressed strong support for legislation, including suicide as a ground. According to the expert group’s report, legislation plus regulations would also fulfil the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights and the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the A, B and C v Ireland case.

In 2010 the court decided Ireland was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights in the case of C.

The fourth option presented by the expert group states: “Most aspects of the provision of lawful termination of pregnancy would be set out in primary legislation, with certain operational matters delegated to the Minister to govern by way of regulations.

“The advantages of this option are that it fulfils the requirements of the judgment, it provides for appropriate checks and balances between the powers of the legislature and the executive, and would be amenable to changes that might arise out of clinical practice and scientific advances,” the report stated.


The four Catholic Archbishops of Ireland: Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh; Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin; Archbishop Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel & Emly; and Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, have issued the following response to the decision today by the Government to legislate for abortion:

Today’s decision by the Irish Government to legislate for abortion should be of the utmost concern to all.

If what is being proposed were to become law, the careful balance between the equal right to life of a mother and her unborn child in current law and medical practice in Ireland would be fundamentally changed. It would pave the way for the direct and intentional killing of unborn children. This can never be morally justified in any circumstances.

The decision of the Supreme Court in the ‘X’ case unilaterally overturned the clear pro-life intention of the people of Ireland as expressed in Article 40.3.3 of our Constitution. To legislate on the basis of such a flawed judgement would be both tragic and unnecessary.

The dignity of the human person and the common good of humanity depend on our respect for the right to life of every person from the moment of conception to natural death. The right to life is the most fundamental of all rights. It is the very basis for every other right we enjoy as persons.

The lives of untold numbers of unborn children in this State now depend on the choices that will be made by our public representatives. The unavoidable choice that now faces all our public representatives is: will I chose to defend and vindicate the equal right to life of a mother and the child in her womb in all circumstances, or will I chose to licence the direct and intentional killing of the innocent baby in the womb?

Moreover, on a decision of such fundamental moral importance every public representative is entitled to complete respect for the freedom of conscience. No one has the right to force or coerce someone to act against their conscience. Respect for this right is the very foundation of a free, civilised and democratic society.

All involved, especially public representatives, must consider the profound moral questions that arise in responding to today’s announcement by the Government. We encourage all to pray that our public representatives will be given the wisdom and courage to do what is right.


  1. "We will also clarify what is legal for the professionals who must provide that care while at all times taking full account of the equal right to life of the unborn child."...

    ...except, of course, when it becomes inconvenient for the mother.

  2. Alphege8:19 PM

    O salutaris hostia,
    Quae caeli pandis ostium,
    Bella premunt hostilia:
    Da robur, fer auxilium!

  3. Crusading Medievalist8:21 PM

    I just saw this on the BBC and came over here to Rorate to see what they had posted about it.

    Poor Ireland. We need another Saint Patrick. "Come and walk again among us once more."

  4. Having discreetly saved western civilisation after the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Irish seem hell bent now on joining the EU & Anglo-Saxon international tribal elites in destroying it once more.

  5. A.M.D.G.11:31 PM

    Almost ashamed to admit I have Irish blood in my veins...

  6. I love the Irish. I was there at Trinity College, Dublin, staying the EU. The Irish Tigers were in full swing then; new roads were being built, catholicism was being disembraced, and Ireland finally embraced the diabolical Maastricht Treaty .

    Brussels has been pushing Ireland and Malta to legalize abortion for many years.

    I guess they got their Christmas wish in the case of Ireland!

  7. Just stumbled upon this link about the numbers of deaths of those in care of the Irish social services . . .

    Doesn't look good . . .196children dead between the years 2000 and 2010 . . . .

    This makes the care endured in the church run Industrial Schools look positively benign, does it not . . .???

    I don't recall deaths being reported in the church abuse media frenzy, not saying there weren't any, but I'sure our friends in the media would have found some by now, if there were any to find.

    Does anyone agree with me that perhaps, in light of the casualty figures, the Church is owed an apology. . . .??? After all it looks like the did better than the secularists by quite a wide margin . . .???

  8. Woe to Ireland if they allow this. Even though they have been quite lacking Faith-wise, they have actually been spared a lot of the issues plaguing Europe. Should this come to pass, Ireland is going to have a lot of upset. Look at Portugal when they allowed abortion. Spain also. IMO

  9. Donnacha4:13 AM

    Imposing legislation rather than having the public vote upon it. How we Irish rightly spoke out when the English imposed upon us. Now to stand by and see it done by fellow Irishmen - and for the purpose of taking innocent life! May the Isle of Saints and Scholars sink into the sea before it allows such an horror!

  10. If you remember that this all began with a deliberate lie of a well known abortion propagandist, then you know that something truly diabolical is going on.

  11. Anonymous10:06 AM

    Please pray for the Pro-Life Movement in Ireland. There are two very important Pro-Life Vigils coming up:

    Saturday 22nd December: Belfast
    3.00pm Divine Mercy Devotions
    4.00pm Candle Light Vigil
    Great Victoria Street (outside Marie Stopes Clinic)

    'Unite for Life' Vigil: Dublin
    Saturday 19th January 2013, 4.30pm
    Merrion Square (Outside Leinster House)

    An young Irish Catholic

  12. Kathleen1:14 PM

    The servants of the enemy are bringing the full force of their breathtaking wealth and power to bear on the last Catholic holdouts -- principally Ireland, Poland, and the Philippines.

    They are relentless and each time the Davids have pushed back a diabolically inspired Goliath onslaught it has seemed those screaching for the blood of infants come back with even more fury and resources.

    I don't blame the Irish.

    My heart breaks for them.

    We must pray for them and do anything we can to aid these last holdouts.

  13. Matt H4:22 PM

    One can help on this issue by going to

  14. The modernist church has not got a leg to stand on in Ireland having destroyed ecclesiastical credibility there with the sexual abuse of minors and the utter stupidity of trying to cover the scandals up. Ultimately, it reveals the ineffectiveness of papal visits there in recent times. People are not going to be walked all over these days. The game is up and now another once great Roman Catholic nation is being reduced to materio-centric paganism with child sacrifice once more reestablishing itself as a Celtic norm

  15. Introitus9:44 PM

    Christianity is all but dead in the West. Our future lies in Africa and Asia.

  16. Ordo Antiquus12:49 AM

    "The servants of the enemy are bringing the full force of their breathtaking wealth and power to bear on the last Catholic holdouts -- principally Ireland, Poland, and the Philippines."

    Meanwhile, Orthodox Russia is arising from its terrible 90-year nightmare of state atheism followed by unbridled capitalism to begin the long, winding road back to repentance. I'm not saying that it is perfect, and it continues to have an epidemic of immorality, but at least it is on the road to less, not more secularism. Unfortunately Catholics prefer to continue attacking and demonizing Russia instead of praying that it be successful. Who knows, it might yet protect Catholics, just as Czarist and Orthodox Russia was mysteriously moved to protect the Jesuits from complete dissolution in the 18th and 19th centuries.

  17. Brendan8:58 PM

    Abortion - another kind of child abuse, one without any redress for the innocent.


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