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Review of legislation must examine facts, say speakers

21 Oct 2021 / legislation Print

Review of legislation must examine facts, say speakers

A pro-life demonstration at Dáil Éireann last night (20 October) heard that even ‘yes’ voters have been shocked at the level of abortion in Ireland, following its legalisation. 

A review of the 2018 legislation is currently underway, and speakers at the rally urged politicians to think seriously about the abortion figures.

The rally organisers, Life Institute, said that it was essential that a transparent examination of the outcomes of the change in abortion law took place during the review.

Sharp rise

Spokeswoman Niamh Uí Bhriain told the crowd that one of the most "shocking outcomes" of the legislation was the sharp rise in the number of abortions after repeal. 

"There are 18 abortions every day, 126 every week, 6,666 in the first year, and 13,243 in just two years," she told the crowd.

"Voters were told abortion would be 'rare', but they can now see that's not true. The equivalent of 260 classrooms of children are being aborted every year.

“Many people who voted ‘yes’ are shocked at this outcome – and disturbed that the Government is doing nothing to reduce the abortion rate, or offering women a better answer."

"Our campaign is reminding the public that the number of babies aborted in 2019 and 2020 is greater than the population of an Irish mid-sized town – greater, for example, than the population of Arklow," said Megan Ní Scealláin of the Life Institute.

‘Honest appraisal

"But our TDs are ignoring these outcomes and don't want a public debate on these issues, so we're bringing this message to the Dáil to say that this review must examine the actual facts of the abortion regime,” Ní Scealláin said. “We don't want a whitewash of reality, and the Irish people deserve an honest appraisal." 

TDs and Senators, including Independent Carol Nolan, Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín, Independent Michael Collins, and Senator Sharon Keogan, addressed the event.

‘Baby Christopher’ case

Vicky Wall of Every Life Counts is urging a full review of how the culture in maternity hospitals may be pushing parents towards abortion considering the revelations of the 'Baby Christopher’ case. 

In June, liability was admitted in a case taken by a couple who claimed a healthy pregnancy was terminated as a result of them being wrongly advised by hospital staff that their baby had a fatal foetal abnormality.

Rebecca Price and Patrick Kiely, from Phibsborough, Dublin, brought separate High Court cases arising from the termination of the life of their unborn son, whom they named Christopher Joseph Kiely.

Three-day waiting period

TD Carol Nolan commented that if the Government accepted the demands of abortion campaigners who wanted an end to the three-day waiting period for women seeking a termination, the number of abortions would rise.

"Figures released to me by the Department of Health showed that 870 women changed their minds after the first consultation during the three-day reflection period, and did not proceed with the abortion.

“I think all reasonable people will accept that is a good thing – but if the three-day reflection period is scrapped, we'll have more abortions taking place." 

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland