Commenting on the announcement by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at today’s launch of his party’s efforts to introduce abortion by repealing the Eighth Amendment, Cora Sherlock stated:
“The Taoiseach has claimed that there will be no unrestricted abortion in Ireland if he wins the referendum, yet his legislation clearly shows that up to 3 months it will be lawful to carry out an abortion without reason or restriction. It is completely incorrect to claim that there is any provision in the law for “counselling for reflection”. There is merely a 72 hour gap between certification and the termination of the pregnancy; this is not a “restriction”, it is merely a waiting period. There is no suggestion in the planned law that after certification is given, the termination can or would be denied. Today, the Taoiseach misled people as to the content of his own legislation. This is another clear reason why politicians cannot be trusted with important rights such as the right to life.”
“In 1967 when abortion was introduced to England and Wales, then government minister David Steel used hard cases to justify the introduction of abortion. Even he recognised on the 40th anniversary of his Abortion Act that he never anticipated so many abortions would be performed every year. Our Government’s abortion proposal goes even further than that. The Taoiseach seems to be determined to repeat the mistakes made in England by introducing abortion on demand while attempting to delude himself and the people that it will be “restricted.”
“British politicians never predicted that their abortion legislation would lead to 1 in 5 pregnancies ending in abortion, but we can learn from their mistakes and reject the Government’s plans for abortion on demand in Ireland by voting “no” in the referendum on the 25th May.”
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Note for Editors:
Head 7 of the ‘General Scheme of a Bill to Regulate the Termination of Pregnancy’ (pdf), published by the Department of Health, states that certification shall be given where the pregnancy has not exceeded the 12 week. There is no provision in the legislation to demonstrate any reason for a request for termination under this section.
Subsection 7 (2) stipulates that 72 hours after certification a termination shall be carried out.
7. (1) It shall be lawful to carry out a termination of pregnancy in accordance with this Head where a medical practitioner certifies, that in his or her reasonable opinion formed in good faith, the pregnancy concerned has not exceeded 12 weeks of pregnancy.
(2) It shall be necessary for 72 hours to elapse between the time of the certification referred to in subhead (1) and the termination of pregnancy being carried out.