Former Taoiseach Calls for No Vote in Abortion Referendum


Former Taoiseach John Bruton is calling on voters to protect the 8thAmendment by voting No in next week’s referendum. Mr Bruton, who was Taoiseach from 1994 to 1997, Ambassador of the European Union to the United States from 2004 to 2009, and Leader of Fine Gael from 1990 to 2001, describes the government’s proposal for liberal abortion legislation if the referendum passes. He says that what the government wants to do is “the very opposite of compassionate”, and he concludes that “we can, as a nation, do better than this.”

“On the 25thof May, we will be asked a simple question: should the unborn child in the womb have any protection from the Irish Constitution, at all? If you were to cast your vote in favour of the government’s proposal, you’d be saying that the unborn child in the womb should have no protection at all. Nothing would then prevent a future government from introducing abortion at any stage in pregnancy and for any reason whatsoever. In addition, you are being asked to permit the government to introduce their own preannounced abortion legislation.


"In a sense, you are actually being asked to endorse this legislation in advance. This proposed legislation would allow the abortion of a healthy baby from a healthy mother for any reason at all in the first three months of a nine-month pregnancy


"It would also allow the abortion of a healthy baby in the first six months of a nine-month pregnancy where a mother’s mental health is deemed to be at risk.


"An unborn child can feel pain after only 20 weeks of a pregnancy, so it can suffer as its life is being ended. Abortion doesn’t cure a mental illness. But it does take an innocent human life.


"If this legislation passes, many more operations, abortions, will be loaded onto an already overloaded Irish health service, on top of the waiting lists that are there already.


"It is my view that if we are to vote yes, we would be repeating the mistakes made in so many other countries, like Britain, where up to one in five pregnancies now end in abortion. Of these abortions, 97% are performed on healthy mothers and healthy babies whose lives are ended.


"That’s not compassionate. In fact it’s the very opposite of compassionate.


"If yes carries the day, there will be no going back, no second chance. That is why, respectfully but sincerely, I am asking you to vote No on the 25thof May. We can, as a nation, do better than this.

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