Tuesday 24 April 2018

'If abortion was local and easily accessible, I may not be here today' – Save the Eighth campaign gets underway

Campaigners at the official launch of the Save the 8th campaign
Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Campaigners at the official launch of the Save the 8th campaign Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Shona Murray

Abortion cannot be classed as healthcare and saying so is "spin designed to mislead the public", a pro-life group claimed today.

Campaigners including Oireachtas Committee members and healthcare professionals officially launched the Save the Eight campaign, which is in favour of retaining the Eighth Amendment - which gives equal rights to the mother and foetus.

Lead speaker, Doctor John Mongahan claims the repeal of the Eighth Amendment will “not make women safer in pregnancy but will only change how politicians may legalise abortion.”

Minister for Health Simon Harris, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tanaiste Simon Coveney all came under sharp criticism for changing their minds on abortion.

Campaign manager Niamh Ui Bhriain asked, “Why should anyone believe their promises on abortion now.”

“There have been more flip flops in the Dail in the last three years on abortion than there are at the average beach”, said Ms Ui Bhriain to rapturous applause.

Campaigners at the official launch of the Save the 8th ÒVote NOÓ campaign
Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Campaigners at the official launch of the Save the 8th ÒVote NOÓ campaign Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Another spokesperson for the group, John McGuirk, accused the Oireachtas Committee on abortion of not choosing obstetricians whose views differed from those who say the Eighth Amendment is an impediment to healthcare.

Ten young women spoke about their personal experiences with pregnancy, including fatal foetal abnormalities.

Another young lady disclosed her mother’s experience as a young single-mother who considered having an abortion in the 1990s.

“If abortion was local and easily accessible, I may not be here today”, she said.

Health-worker and campaigner Marie Donnelly said it was “fake news” to say that abortion could ever be classed as “healthcare”.

“Abortion is not healthcare”, she said.

This notion “is spin and designed to mislead the public.”

Ms Donnolly also criticised the government’s proposed legislation for GPs prescribing abortion pills, asking “how does a GP decide how far along a baby is.”

And said they will require “ultra sound machines and have to be trained them to use them”, which will be a huge strain on resources.

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