8 Reasons to Vote NO

A baby’s heartbeat starts at 22 days

“Most countries that legalised abortion did so before ultrasound scans were widely available. Today we no longer have this excuse. We know so much more about the humanity of the baby at the earliest stages of development.” Dr Siobhán Crowley, GP

A 12 week old unborn baby:

  • Has a beating heart
  • Can swallow and yawn
  • Can kick, stretch & jump
  • Has arms, legs, fingers & toes
  • Has fingernails & hair
  • Has all her vital organs
  • Has vocal chords
  • Responds to touch
  • Has a fully formed face

The Government is planning to introduce a law allowing for abortion – without restriction or reason – up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and abortion on demand up to six months on unspecified mental health grounds. Abortion without reason is not legal in Britain, and 97% of the 200,000 abortions that take place in Britain every year are under ‘Ground C’ – an unspecified health ground.

Only a ‘No’ vote can stop a law more extreme than British abortion law being introduced in Ireland.

Fetal age milestones from: T.W. Sadler, Langman’s Medical Embryology, 13th Ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer, 2015, & Professor Stuart Campbell. Watch Me Grow! London: Carroll & Brown Ltd, 2004

 

 

 

What the Government has planned for its abortion legislation

The referendum on the Eighth Amendment was not about abortion in limited circumstances. Before the vote, the Government published its plan¹ for a new abortion law if the 8th Amendment was repealed and since that has now happened, we need to be fully aware of what they now want to enact.

The Government is planning:

  • Abortion without restriction up to 12 weeks, for any reason (See ‘Head 7’)
  • Abortion up to 6 months on the same grounds that has led to abortion on demand in Britain – unspecified mental health grounds (See ‘Head 4’ and definitions in ‘Head 1’)
  • Free abortions paid for with your taxes²
  • Abortions performed in your local GP surgeries and hospitals
  • Irish citizens would have no vote on future abortion laws
  • Foreign abortion clinics setting up in Ireland for profit

This plan is more extreme than the law in Britain which results in almost 200,000 abortions every year³. Despite the referendum result, there is no obligation on the Government to legislate for these grounds.  The LoveBoth project will be doing all we can to limit the damage that is done to Ireland’s pro-life culture.

Can you help us?  Why not sign up today and be part of the push for the restoration of full legal protection for unborn babies. 

 

References

  1. General Scheme of Bill to Regulate Termination of Pregnancy
  2. https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/the-state-will-fund-abortions-if-people-vote-for-change-harris-36244824.html
  3. Abortion Statistics, England & Wales, 2016

We must keep working to save lives

Emma’s Story

We all know someone protected by the 8th Amendment. There are so many stories of mothers and parents who contemplated abortion, but the unavailability of abortion in Ireland enabled them to change their minds.  The 8th created a climate whereby unborn babies were valued, where pregnancy was seen very positively, and where medical practitioners did their best for pregnant mothers and their babies.

We are rightly disappointed at the loss of such an amazing life-saving law, but the result of the referendum cannot take away from the fact that there are tens of thousands of people alive in Ireland today because of the hard work done in the past.  An independently produced actuarial report compared the number of Irish women who travel abroad to avail of abortion to the abortion rates of women in these other countries. The report conservatively estimated that at least 100,000 babies have been saved from abortion by the 8th Amendment in the last two decades. We should be immensely proud of the fantastic impact of the 8th Amendment while it was in the Constitution.  Our work now involves restoring the life-affirming culture that was at the heart of the Amendment.  See Report

WHAT CAN YOU DO? 

Think about what you have to offer to LoveBoth at this critical time:

  • Are you a gifted writer?  Could you write articles or letters to the paper?
  • Would you like to join our social media team and help to spread the message in that way?
  • Can you donate to help us continue our campaign of education and research?

Everyone can do something and we would love to hear from you with your ideas and suggestions for the way forward.

 

90% of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome in Britain are aborted

Abortion discriminates

There is no ban on abortion for reasons of disability in the Government’s proposal and this puts babies with disabilities at serious risk if the Government goes ahead with legislation based on the plan they presented before the referendum.  In countries where there are no restrictions on abortion on grounds of disability, babies diagnosed with a disability like Down syndrome are aborted in huge numbers.

In Britain, 90% of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome in the womb are aborted1. In Denmark and Iceland, that figure is closer to 100%2.

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is available in Ireland and can detect Down Syndrome and other conditions before 12 weeks of pregnancy. These tests boast a 0.1% false positive rate3. With the availability of NIPT, many women won’t wait for further diagnostic testing.

If the Government sticks to its current plan for abortion legislation, babies with Down Syndrome would be targeted within the womb, just as has happened in countries with legalised abortion.

Protecting and valuing the rights of people with disabilities begins with protecting their rights while still in the womb and for this reason we will do all we can to limit the damage to their rights caused by any legislation enacted by the Government.

“I don’t believe we can afford to censor the reality that abortion laws in other countries have led to discrimination against babies with Down Syndrome” Sineád McBreen, mother of Grace (3) who has Down Syndrome

 

Watch this video featuring one mother’s fears about how the referendum result would affect the rights of children like her little boy:

(1)      Parliamentary Inquiry into Abortion on the Grounds of Disability, UK, 2013
(2)      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/down-syndrome-iceland/
(3)      Harmony NIPT Brochure

Abortion causes psychological harm

“I was 19 when I had an abortion. I was never told it would lead to deep depression and suicidal thoughts. Every time I heard a baby cry it was like a knife turning in my heart. Abortion was supposed to be a quick fix for an unwanted pregnancy, but it was the biggest mistake of my life. You can’t repeal regret.” Bernadette, Cork

There are hundreds of thousands of abortions in Britain every year on mental health grounds, but there is no medical evidence that abortion safeguards or improves women’s mental health. No evidence at all.

Many peer-reviewed studies, however, confirm the testimony of post-abortive women that abortion itself heightens the risk of future mental health problems [1] [2] [3].

As we saw in the referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment, abortion campaigners systematically deny the extent and strength of the peer reviewed reserach debunking claims that abortion helps women’s mental health.  This reluctance extends to suppressing the voices of groups like Women Hurt, which consists of women who regret their abortions and wish to tell their stories.

Watch accounts of women courageously telling their stories at the Women Hurt Facebook page.

If you know someone who is affected, support is available at www.womenhurt.ie

 

[1] Abortion and mental health disorders: evidence from a 30-year longitudinal study, David M. Fergusson, L. John Horwood and Joseph M. Boden, British Journal of Psychiatry, 2008, 193:444-451
[2] Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. Fergusson DM1, Horwood LJ, Ridder EM. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2006 Jan; 47(1):16-24.
[3] Pregnancy continuation and organizational religious activity following prenatal diagnosis of a lethal fetal defect are associated with improved psychological outcome. Cope H1, Garrett ME1, Gregory S2, Ashley-Koch A1. 2015 Aug; 35(8):761-8

 

A Better Vision for Ireland

“My own story is not unusual – not in Ireland. I was adopted. My birth mother loved me but could not raise me. She may not have planned or sought to become pregnant but she did choose life and for me to be born. However, others may not have been so fortunate. There are so many people alive today thanks to Ireland’s 8th Amendment.” Síle, Sligo

Some politicians have spent years trying to introduce abortion. But they have done little to work for positive alternatives to abortion. The State should work towards:

  • Better funding for pregnancy counselling services throughout Ireland
  • Rapid prioritising of housing and medical care for homeless pregnant women
  • Better services for families of disabled children
  • Immediate counselling and hospice support for parents whose children have life-limiting conditions
  • Improved maternity and paternity benefit in line with international best practice

The campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment was divisive, and legalising abortion as the solution to unplanned pregnancy removes the incentive for positive change. A truly compassionate society welcomes both mother and baby.

Adoption gives hope

New approaches to adoption present a real alternative to abortion. Sadly, very few Irish infants are offered for adoption each year. Much can be done to promote this hugely positive alternative further. The process of adoption needs to be streamlined and costs need to be reduced. Thousands of Irish couples have been declared suitable to adopt and  wait for a chance to start a family. Truly, every child is a wanted child.

We cannot allow politicians to enact legislation according to their plan

Now that the 8th Amendment has been removed from the Constitution, the public will have no vote on future abortion laws. Sadly, we have handed the power to politicians to make these decisions. Despite this, we must continue to do all we can to limit the damage that will be done to the rights of unborn babies from the referendum result.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that there is no ‘right to abortion’. Ireland is under no obligation to change its abortion laws.

The government’s plan to introduce abortion on demand will place further strain on currently overstretched health services. A&E waiting times are the highest on record. We could not trust politicians to reform our failing health service, and yet we’re being asked to trust them with the lives of unborn babies.

Can you help us with our future work in helping to restore full legal protection for unborn babies in Ireland?  If so, click here.

Ireland is a world leader in care for pregnant women

  • Ireland is one of the safest countries in the world to have a baby. It is safer than countries with abortion on demand. Figures published by the Maternal Death Enquiry Ireland (MDE) show our maternal death rate of 6.5 per 100,000 is extremely low compared with a rate of 8.8 per 100,000 in the UK and 26.7 per 100,000 in the US1.
  • Some people have concerns following media reports about the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar in 2012. Three separate independent reports have shown that her death was due to mismanagement of sepsis2. Thirteen missed opportunities were identified in her care. The doctors involved in her case never blamed the 8th Amendment for her death.
  • Ireland’s abortion laws were clarified in 2013. It is lawful to terminate a pregnancy in Ireland in order to protect a mother’s life3.
  • Dr. Mary Holohan, Consultant Obstetrician in the Rotunda Hospital has recently criticised those who create ‘unnecessary fears’ about the protection of women in Ireland.

“A pro-choice meeting in Kildare was recently told that a woman who has cancer while pregnant cannot avail of chemotherapy in Ireland. This is simply false, and it appals me that such a claim would ever be made about our health service… The amendment does not inhibit our ability to treat a woman. It does one thing only – it bans us from intentionally killing one of our patients. I shall vote to retain it.”
Prof Eamonn McGuinness, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist and Former Chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists

  1. www.rcpi.ie/news/releases/institute-of-obstetricians-and-gynaecologists-welcomes-new-figures-that-show-ireland-is-one-of-the-safest-places-to-have-a-baby/
  2. Inquest Report: The coroner’s nine recommendations endorsed by the jury, (April 2013); HSE Report, (June 2013); The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) Report, (October 2013).
  3. Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, 2013