Unrestricted Abortion Unacceptable - Church of Ireland


The two Church of Ireland archbishops have said unrestricted access to abortion, such a proposed by the government if the abortion referendum passes, was not “an ethical position we can accept”. In a short statement, they continued that “there is, for Christians, a very clear witness in the Scriptures that all human life, including before physical birth, has a sacred dignity in the eyes of God”.


The Church of Ireland primate, Archbishop Richard Clarke, and Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson, said “unrestricted access to abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, or indeed at any stage, is not an ethical position we can accept”. They noted how they had “previously expressed our concern that the forthcoming constitutional referendum is being understood as something akin to an opinion poll on the complex issue of abortion.


“However, now that the Government has made known the general scheme of a Bill which it would introduce should the referendum on the repeal of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution of Ireland be passed, voters face a stark decision,” they said.


The Church of Ireland opposed the 8th Amendment in 1983 and the archbishops said it “has proved less than satisfactory in some respects”. But “what is now being proposed by the Government – if the Article is repealed – is unrestricted access to abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy”.


They asked “Church members to think through the issues involved carefully and with prayer over these coming weeks”.

The Irish Times. March 29. Church of Ireland. March 28.

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