Ireland: Pro Life Lawmakers Defend Pro-Life Position
Friday, November 30, 2018

Debate in Ireland’s Dáil Éireann is increasingly filled with intolerance for the pro-life position and the right of conscience by lawmakers as debate on amendments to the government’s bill to legalize abortion takes place. At the committee stage, 180 amendments have been offered and pro-abortion lawmakers have ardently rejected any pro-life protection from being added to the bill.

Pro-life TD Carol Nolan, punished earlier this year by her party Sinn Féin for her pro-life vote, opposed government funding for abortion during committee consideration stating, “Government Ministers sponsored funding of abortion goes against the principles of their own party members, the voters’ wishes and opens the door to tourism abortion at Irish taxpayer’s expense. Even €100 Million of tax funding won’t be enough for the abortion industry. It is an abhorrent misuse of public money.”

She also described a late term abortion during debate on providing pain relief to unborn children before late term abortions and received the ire of pro-abortion colleagues in return.  Demonstrating a lack of tolerance for any legislator or view that supports a consistent respect for life that opposes abortion, Ms Nolan’s amendment was described as “sinister” by Fianna Fáil TD Lisa Chambers while Nolan’s realistic description of a late term abortion procedure was said by People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett to be designed to induce "trauma, fear and shock."

The extreme intolerance of the pro-abortion TDs to hearing the truth about an abortion procedure and what it does to the unborn child was exhibited by Sinn Féin's Louise O'Reilly who accused Deputy Nolan of trying to "inject shock tactics and US nonsense" and shamelessly charged Nolan’s comments against abortion "displayed no compassion" and were "dripping with judgement, dripping with a kind of visceral hatred of women."

In response to the small-minded and completely false comments, Deputy Nolan reiterated that she was seeking to represent the views of the 723,632 people who voted No in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment, and the many people who voted Yes who but who have problems with the legislation as it now stands. 

She explained the lack of tolerance for the pro-life position in the Dáil Éireann stating: "Unfortunately, many Pro-Life have been bullied into silence, but I won’t allow my views on the issue to be silenced, it appears that democracy in Dáil Éireann only exists if you hold a liberal and pro-choice view - so much for equality and respect. My sole motivation at all times has been a concern for the welfare of women and their unborn babies.”

"I am not accustomed to describing the abortion procedure in detail but when colleagues in the Dáil won’t even support an amendment to provide pain relief for an unborn baby during a late-term abortion then I think it is reasonable to challenge them on what they are doing." 

"I will always be respectful but I won’t be censored from telling the truth. Some people want a debate where only one side is heard and they are quick to demonise their opponents the second they point out the reality of what’s been voted through. I don’t need lectures from colleagues on how to behave in this debate. I am perfectly aware of the sensitivities involved."

"I have met many women who regret their abortions and would have dearly loved if before it happened someone had pointed out to them the reality of abortion and the possible consequences of the decision for them and I've been approached by people who were adopted and say it is likely that they would have been aborted if abortion had been legal in Ireland. I'm entitled to speak up for people like this. Sometimes the hard, sad reality of what an abortion involves has to be pointed out," TD Nolan continued.

"It does a disservice to everyone and is a betrayal of women and their unborn babies to sanitise the debate to such an extent that the truth of what actually happens is never mentioned.”

Independent TD Mattie McGrath, a pro-life champion, described the situation in an insightful opinion piece entitled 'New form of misogyny denies women facts about abortion' which he begins with the simple statement, “In all my years in politics, I have never dealt with an issue that even comes close to the distortions and misinformation that occur in the abortion debate.”

McGrath describes many of the pro-life amendments and how and why they were proposed expressing dismay at the process and lack of fair and open debate.

He explains the ridicule endured by pro-life TDs, “For bringing forward these amendments, we have been taunted and derided by pro-choice TDs and some journalists, not over what the amendments would achieve but over what our detractors want people to think they would do.”

He continues, “I've been in politics long enough not to take jeers or insults personally but I find it really disturbing that an issue of such importance - about life and death - should be demeaned and misrepresented in such a constant and relentless way.”

The entire referendum process is described by McGrath as a “huge eye-opener” at the way the debate was “managed and muzzled”. He expresses his deep concern that the view of the group Women Hurt, which represents women who regret their abortions, was completely ignored by the Oireachtas committee examining the abortion issue prior to the referendum.

The lawmaker from Tipperary writes, “It's a reality that some women suffer negative consequences after abortion. Every woman contemplating abortion has the right to know about that.”

He explains that when the amendment to ensure that women have informed consent and accurate information was introduced, pro-abortion colleagues accused pro-lifer lawmakers of “peddling propaganda”.

McGrath laments the situation and concludes, “So much for choice. So much for giving women information. Denying women basic information is a new form of misogyny. It is practised every day in Dail Eireann.”

PNCI applauds TDs Carol Nolan and Mattie McGrath, and their pro-life colleagues, for their consistent and unwavering support for the most basic human right, the right to life.

We offer a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ for the example you have given lawmakers around the world of being true to your pro-life convictions in the face of hostility and intolerance.