The same report asks us to take action and “urge” the Taoiseah (the prime minister of Ireland) to:
- Repeal Article 40.3.3 (the Eighth Amendment) of the Irish Constitution, to enable the provision of a human rights compliant framework for abortion and information, in law and in practice.
- Decriminalize abortion
- Repeal the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 and replace it with laws that ensure safe and legal access to abortion, at a minimum, in cases of rape, incest, risk to health or severe and fatal foetal impairment.
- Repeal the Regulation of Information (Services Outside the State for the Termination of Pregnancies) Act 1995 and any related censorship laws”
The troublesome amendment reads like this: “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.”
On one side it make a lot of sense. What could be the difference between the life of the mother and that of the unborn and how could somebody choose between these two?
On the other side it unveils an ugly truth: “The State…”…
What we have here is a blatant example of an organized crowd – “the State” – imposing it’s will on a minority of it’s members in a matter that, in reality, doesn’t affect anything else but the feelings of the crowd. Besides the entire life of the mother, of course.
The point I’m trying to make is that we cannot equate the life of an unborn, specially so if the fetus is less than three month old, with that of its mother.
It makes a lot of sense to recognize the life of a self contained human being – once that it was born – and a lot less to impose as a sacrosanct value that of the life of a fetus that cannot survive, under any circumstances, outside the womb of its mother.
A child that has already survived its birth or a sick person can be successfully taken care of by the community. Same thing is not at all valid for an unborn fetus that is less than three months old.
So when discussing the relationship between the life of a mother and that of her unborn child we have two situations. When the fetus is too small to survive outside the womb it practically belongs to the mother and she should be the one who decides about it.
Only after the fetus has reached the stage from which it could survive a miscarriage we enter the realm described by the 8Th Amendment. Only from that moment on the life of the child becomes equivalent to that of the mother and only from that moment on the pregnancy should be terminated only if the life of the mother is in immediate danger, as specified by the current Irish legislation.