2nd June 2023
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In this Issue...
READ: What happened in Wednesday’s abortion vote and what happens next (#3)
WATCH: STUNNING ADMISSION from Chair of abortion review at Oireachtas Health Committee meeting (#vid 1)
WATCH: Clear and passionate words from Senator Rónán Mullen on this week’s developments (#1)
LISTEN: (#RADIO) Your voice in the media! PLC Spokesperson Eilís Mulroy and Deputy Peadar Tóibín participated in a number of radio interviews this week. (#RADIO)
REGISTER: Upcoming PLC Network Webinar: Examining and Discussing the Latest Developments on the Abortion Review Report and he Abortion Bill (#web)
SIGN UP NOW: Calling Pro Life Young People: LifeLines Summer Tour 2023 - Book Your Place! (#LBB)
SUPPORT: Team LoveBoth for the VHI Women's Mini-Marathon 2023 (#mara)
READ: Do you have pro-life material which could be historically relevant? (#history)
What happened in Wednesday’s abortion vote and what happens next (http://)
The passage of Bríd Smith’s abortion bill at Second Stage in the Dáil on Wednesday evening was very disappointing but not an altogether surprising development.
The bill passed by 67 votes to 64 with 8 abstentions. It still has to move through committee stage before a final vote on the bill can happen - something most commentators are of the view won’t come to pass. As pro-life supporters, however, we can’t pin our hopes on such speculation. We can’t afford to leave anything to chance and must mobilise in force to ensure this horrific bill never becomes law, or any version of it that the Government might try to bring forward.
Smith’s bill, if passed into law, would among other things permit abortion on request throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy.
Even if the bill progresses no further, it’s still tragic and alarming that we’ve reached a point where 67 TDs are prepared to vote for something that would allow a baby to be killed in such a dreadful way right up to the moment of birth. The same TDs who voted for Bríd Smith’s bill voted against Carol Nolan’s bill in 2021 that would have ensured babies were given humanitarian pain relief prior to their lives being ended in late term abortions.
Senior government ministers like Catherine Martin and Roderic O'Gorman, who voted for Smith’s bill on Wednesday, need to be challenged on how they can stand over voting for abortion on request up to birth and in the same breath oppose these same babies being shown a morsel of mercy by providing precautionary pain relief to safeguard against them dying in excruciating pain.
The euphemisms and genteel word games that pro-abortion campaigners use were also on full display at Wednesday’s meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Health Committee where they discussed the recently published report of the three-year review of the abortion law. The Chair of the review Marie O’Shea BL and Dr Catherine Conlon, who conducted the UnPAC study as part of the review, were guest witnesses at the meeting. Almost every sentence uttered by committee members and witnesses alike was peppered with terms like “abortion care”, “evidence based findings” and adhering to “World Health Organisation best practice.” But when it came to specifics on the issue of evidence, the cupboard was completely bare.
For example, the entire justification for recommending the scrapping of the three-day reflection period before an abortion was completely blown apart when Marie O’Shea admitted under questioning from Peadar Tóibín TD that she never spoke to any of the nearly 4,000 women who between 2019 and 2021 went for their first abortion appointment but didn’t go through with the abortion after the three-day wait had elapsed.
It was also highly inappropriate for the Chair of the review to personally push at the meeting for specific changes to the law on abortion. Saying that “a bit more courage” from the Taoiseach in bringing forward legislative change “wouldn’t go amiss” was an appalling remark for her to make and puts paid once and for all to any suggestion that the review she oversaw was independent and impartial. TDs Michael McNamara and Seán Kyne also asked some interesting and helpful questions to the Chair of the review about freedom of conscience rights and the three-day reflection period.
It’s been a tough and troubling week for the pro-life movement. There’s no escaping that. But as is often the case, what was presented in public is not the full story. It was interesting for example to observe the number of remarks on Twitter in recent days from some very unlikely sources expressing annoyance and dismay at the push for wider access to abortion and the breaking of promises that were made prior to the referendum that dismantled the Eighth Amendment. Conflicted ‘Yes’ voters from 2018 have been very quiet over the past five years but in recent weeks they have slowly started to make their concerns known. The Bríd Smith’s of this world will never reappraise the direction they’re going in out of concern for what these ‘middleground’ voters are thinking. But it’s an entirely different matter for the main parties in government. They need to hear from us loudly and clearly that no legislative changes to broaden the grounds for abortion are acceptable based on the recommendations of
This past week has been another wake up call on what can happen seemingly out of the blue. But it has also been a week that exposed the most extreme elements of the pro-abortion movement and showed how empty and vacuous the “evidence based” claims are from the drafters of the report of the three-year review.
Wednesday evening’s vote will hopefully prompt many more people to rethink their stance on the issue and join us in trying to bring some balance and humanity back to the debate. We are already experiencing a noticeable uptick in numbers contacting us to get involved.
As we said in our press release after Wednesday's Dáil vote, we will work day and night to ensure Bríd Smith’s bill progresses no further.
We must ensure as well that abortion becomes a major election issue and do everything in our power to get more pro-life TDs elected to the Dáil.
Nothing should deter or throw us of course from the vitally important work we are doing in defence of the most vulnerable. Each one of us has to play our part in this regard.
See how your local TDs voted here ([link removed])
STUNNING ADMISSION from Chair of abortion review at Oireachtas Health Committee meeting (http://)
The recommendation to scrap the three-day period of reflection before an abortion fell apart on Wednesday when the author of the report admitted under questioning from Peadar Tóibín TD that she never spoke to any of the nearly 4,000 women who went for their first abortion appointment but didn’t go through with the abortion after the three-day wait had elapsed. It’s incredible that her recommendation to scrap the three-day waiting period is being taken seriously by anyone. Well done to Deputy Tóibín for once again exposing the truth and for highlighting how the three-year review has been a total charade from start to finish.
Watch here ([link removed])
Clear and passionate words from Senator Rónán Mullen on this week’s developments (http://)
Watch Senator Mullen’s excellent contribution in the Seanad on Thursday here ([link removed])
Your voice in the media! PLC Spokesperson Eilís Mulroy and Deputy Peadar Tóibín participated in a number of radio interviews this week. (http://)
Deputy Peadar Tóibín TD on Drivetime - Listen back here ([link removed])
Eilís Mulroy on Newstalk Breakfast - Listen back here ([link removed])
Eilís Mulroy on The Niall Boylan Show - Listen back here ([link removed])
Eilís Mulroy on CRC Castlebar - Listen back here ([link removed])
Register for our Upcoming PLC Network Webinar: Examining and Discussing the Latest Developments on the Abortion Review Report and he Abortion Bill (http://)
Register for our Upcoming PLC Network Webinar: Examining and Discussing the Latest Developments on the Abortion Review Report and he Abortion Bill.
Taking place on Tuesday 13th June from 7.30pm to 8.30pm.
Thw webinar includes a Panel Discussion, Larest Grassroots Activities, and much more.
Register Now ([link removed])
Calling Pro Life Young People: LifeLines Summer Tour 2023 - Book Your Place! (http://)
We are delighted to announce a really exciting and fun upcoming event specifically designed for young people interested in the pro life cause. This programme is tailored towards 18 to 26 year olds who are interested in having a fun week during the summer, meeting other pro life young people and participating in some life affirming outreach activities.
This outreach programme brings young pro-lifers together from across the country for a week starting Monday 24th July and finishing on Sunday 30th July.
The tour will be travelling through a number of towns and villages, hosting meetings, participating in the LoveBoth 5K Your Way to raise money for mothers in need along with meeting local pro-life advocates. There will also be fun entertainment activities provided.
Drivers, Accommodation and food providers needed - Can you help?
We are looking for help with providing accommodation, meals and transport in Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Sligo, and Mayo during the tour. If you are in a position to help with any of these things, please contact us here (mailto:[email protected]) and we will be in touch.
Sign Up Now! ([link removed])
Support Team LoveBoth for the VHI Women's Mini-Marathon 2023 (http://)
The VHI Women’s Mini Marathon is taking place in Dublin this Sunday June 4th. We are thrilled that a group of women representing Team LoveBoth are participating to raise funds to help pregnant women and new mothers in need.T
he Team have raised €3,000 to date and have a target of €5000.
Can you help them reach their target by THIS Sunday?
You can sponsor Team LoveBoth by making an instant donation here ([link removed])
Do you have pro-life material which could be historically relevant? (http://)
We are putting out a call for anyone in possession of any documents, photographs, correspondence, etc. relevant to the Irish pro-life movement throughout the decades. We are particularly keen to receive anything in your possession related to periods such as the 1983 referendum. A comprehensive history of the pro-life movement is yet to be written, but the historians of the future will need primary sources. We are asking for people to get in touch with the Pro Life Campaign (mailto:[email protected]) if they possess such material (no matter how old or dusty!) to ensure it is preserved now and not lost to the ages.
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Vital Signs is the e-newsletter of the Pro Life Campaign. We hope you and your families are keeping well in these unusual times. This email is to update you on what we have been working on recently, including news stories, project updates, and details of upcoming events. If you want to get in touch with us please do so by emailing [email protected]
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Pro Life Campaign . 24 Mount Street Upper . Dublin 2 . Dublin, Co. Dublin D02 R229 . Ireland