Only the power of the Constitution can prevent the State becoming like UK where 200,000 unborn children lose their lives every year – TD

‘Nothing to stop Oireachtas introducing permissive abortion if Eighth Amendment is repealed.’

Sligo News File

A leading member of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution has warned that if “the repeal of the amendment happens…there will be absolutely nothing to stop the Oireachtas in any future iteration from introducing as permissive an abortion regime as it sees fit.”

Mattie McGrath, TD
Member Oireachtas Joint Committee on Eighth Amendment

TD Mattie Mc Grath told the Dail: “Only the power of the Constitution can prevent the State from descending into a situation like that of the UK where there is de facto abortion on demand and where 200,000 unborn children lose their lives each and every year.”

The Deputy, a graduate of UCC, said Ireland has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates “and is one of the safest places in the world to give birth.

“It is important that we do not confuse unfortunate medical failings with the lifesaving eighth amendment, which strives to protect both lives.”

“I emphasise that if the repeal of the eighth amendment happens, albeit I do not believe it will, there will be absolutely nothing to stop the Oireachtas in any future iteration from introducing as permissive an abortion regime as it sees fit.

In the last few weeks, he said there has been much talk and apparently a lot of sincere concern about one recommendation of the committee in particular. I refer to the so- called ’12 week limit without restriction as to reason’ which was introduced by the Fianna Fáil members.

“This was despite the fact that the Fianna Fáil Ard-Fheis voted overwhelmingly a week earlier to retain the eighth amendment and not to undermine the right to life that it guarantees.”

“I have been asked not to say this, but many Down’s syndrome families have contacted me because of the stance taken by their CEO. I could have mentioned the fact that 90% of Down’s syndrome children in the UK are aborted or the fact that since the UK introduced its abortion law 50 years ago, a law which is mirrored in the report’s recommendations, almost 9 million unborn lives have been lost.

“Is that where we want to be in 50 years?

“This is an opportunity to assert we will not tread that path, that we choose a culture of life, the life of both mother and baby, and that we will not rush headlong into a culture of death from which there can be no return.”

Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan TD

Ministers and TDs in substantial numbers have flatly refused to back the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, some fearing that its removal from the Constitution would clear a way for an abortion free-for-all.

Fine Gael TD and Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan has warned repealing the Eighth Amendment could have ‘unintended consequences.’ He announced on On RTEs Week in Politics on Sunday that he will not support a referendum to repeal it.

“…I believe that it leaves too much uncertainty in relation to what is going to happen to the right conferred in 1983.”