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Equality: Protect The Right To LIfe
As Ireland prepares for electing their members to the 32nd Dail, political parties and candidates have started positioning themselves. In recent weeks, party conferences of Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Féin were an exercise in electoral agenda setting. Election manifestoes are being drawn focusing on issues that may help win favour with the electorate.
Of the most important poll issues, Pro-Life appears to be taking the central position. Tanaiste Joan Burton of Labour was categorical in seeking a referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment to the Constitution. On the other hand, Fianna Fail would not be making any commitment to this issue in its manifesto. Joining issue with Burton, Micheal Martin of Fianna Fail was critical of Labour’s commitment. “On issues of life and death, it is a conscience issue for members. It is one thing to say that you will repeal it, but what will it be replaced with?” demanded Micheal, though he declared himself Pro-life as a principle.
The embers of the marriage referendum in Ireland are sure to be stoked by the fallout of the same sex marriages ruling of the Supreme Court of America on 26 June 2015. This issue is the most tweeted one with conversations peaking to 4,00,000 tweets between 9.30 to 10.30 on last Saturday.
Coming back to the present issue, let us consider the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Act, enacted on 7th October1983. Part II of the Amendment states, “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”
Can anyone deny the human aspect of the stand the Act takes in favour of an unborn life that can by no means defend itself at that stage? The Act vindicates the right of the unborn while guaranteeing equal rights to the life of the mother. Thirty one years on, the debate is being unreasonably stretched by some vested interests in political and media circles for creating doubts and getting a legal miscarriage executed.
In spite of that, Ireland can remember with pride that on 11th March 2015 several thousand Pro-life people came together in Dublin to call out the media over its bias on abortion. The avante garde event, outside the Dáil that evening, was the first of its kind in Ireland. The huge turnout at the event was a small but significant step in the right direction. Media bias in favour of abortion was for once called into question; and media groupthink was exposed. Media balance is the most basic feature of a healthy democracy and in its absence a small clique of journalists end up wielding excessive power and setting harmful political agenda.
Observation of science on abortion is clear: From the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings. Therefore, every "successful" abortion ends the life of a living human being. Biologically speaking "Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition," observe Potter and Craig, in Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant. And philosophically also there is no morally significant difference between the embryo you once were and the adult you are today.
It is not alarming, says Lia Mills “that every day a hundred and fifteen thousand children are dying through abortion? This means that five thousand children die every hour. All those lives...gone. All that potential... gone. And all that hope in the future... done,” rues Mills. The word "foetus" comes from the Latin word meaning "young one" or "young child". Some babies are born after only five months. Is such a baby not human? If an action is unjust, it needs to be illegal, and it has to be our business. And this particular law has a huge impact on our society."
Paul Clarke, Independent candidate from Dublin Bay North, observes that the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution speaks very clearly about the threat that abortion presents to personal Sovereignty. He asks, “What can be more unjust than the taking a child’s life before it ever takes its first breath in the open air?” How can we defend a person’s right to liberty if we will not defend a child’s right to take birth and live?” Declared he, “That is why I stand firmly in support of Ireland’s Pro-Life policies.”
According to Paul, it is estimated that lives of over 100,000 babies have been saved by Ireland’s ban on abortion over the last 20 years. That means 14 children every day who are enjoying the gifts of life, including a chance to love with their families, learn with their peers, and grow up to start a family of their own. Meanwhile, in neighboring England, 1 in 5 pregnancies are terminated through abortive practices. It is sad that 90% of children with Downs Syndrome in England are killed in the womb.
Paul Clarke is alive to the other aspects of the issue. He says, “I understand that there are many difficult circumstances that may make abortion seem like an attractive option. However, in every instance, we have opportunities to help the mothers in need, find an avenue for caring for herself and for meeting the needs of her children. We can help such a mother avoid a difficult choice that can never be undone.”
The Independent candidate from Dublin argues that our values are reflected in how we treat our children. He quoted United States Congressman Ron Paul, who said “that if people are careless and casual about life at the beginning of life, we will be careless and casual about life at the end”. Paul concludes, “Indeed, we prove that we are a civilized nation when we protect all of our children, born and unborn. In this way, we defend democracy and sovereignty for all the residents of Ireland. I am proud to stand for Sovereignty and for Life.”
To provide help and support to people facing an unplanned pregnancy, post-pregnancy and post-abortion, Life Pregnancy Care Ireland Ltd., is a non-denominational, non-advocacy organisation registered for charitable purposes. It provides support including homeless accommodation, parenting and pre-natal classes and counselling services. It has three centres, at Cork, Dublin, and Thurles, with qualified and accredited counsellors and psychotherapists, to care with compassion but maintaining confidentialty of those in crisis. The centres can be contacted by telephone, by email, by text, on-line or by calling you can speak with one of their qualified counsellors, explained Mr Paul Clarke.
The Independent candidate cited the example of one All India Pingalwara Charitable Society, Amritsar (India), established single handedly by a spirited Bhagat Puran Singh in 1924. He took under his care all abandoned, destitute, forlorn, handicapped, physically as well mentally challenged kids and elders. For charity, he depended upon philanthropists and later involved volunteers with sealed charity boxes to request people in buses, streets, to donate for this noble cause. Now this institute runs a Senior Secondary school, maintains a mental ward, and an organic farming enterprise over 35 acres of land.
This is nothing short of a miracle that has happened in a third world country. The people of Ireland, who had been awakened long since, need to be in the lead in its ProLife endeavours.
Paul supports his conviction with an array of scientific, philosophical, and religious evidence that interpret the physical, psychological, social, moral, ethical, and human implications of going against the Pro-life Act.
For the believers, if man is made in God’s own image, how can you commit the sacrilege and sin of killing the image before it takes the final shape?