During the last general election, the Fine Gael party assured voters that it would not legislate for abortion if elected.

In the past several days Enda Kenny has U-turned on a pre-election commitment made to the people of this country regarding a vital issue.

Every signature on this petition sends an email to An Taoiseach and The Minister for Health letting them know that we, the people of Ireland DO NOT want abortion in our country and we will NOT stand for being lied to by our politicians.

The petition can be found here:

Please sign and share the event and the petition on facebook, twitter and by all means possible.



As Ireland is urged to legalise abortion it is worth reminding ourselves what the consequences of legalising abortion have been in the UK - and how those wishing to change the law went about it.

The story is timely as 2013 will be the year when many of the same campaigners seek to legalise assisted dying in the UK, as part of the march towards euthanasia.

In 1967 tragic and genuinely heart rending cases were used to suggest that a change in law would somehow end suffering and usher in a new era of compassion.

In future “every child would be a wanted child”.  The law would be restricted to the most exceptional cases and would be policed by doctors who would ensure that the law would not lead to abortion on demand.

To prepare the ground for this legislative change, parliamentary and public opinion was carefully nurtured by a well orchestrated media campaign.  Alternative points of view, if referred to at all, were caricatured as uncaring and merely the opinions of dinosaurs from an antediluvian age. 

A letter was read to the House of Commons from a group of gynaecologists who said they wished “to state that should the Bill become law… We do not expect to terminate more pregnancies than before.”


In reality, in Britain today one in five pregnancies ends in an abortion; around 600 every single working day;  approaching 7 million since those words were uttered. Since 1967only 143 abortions have been undertaken where the mother’s life was at risk.


98% of all British abortions are done under the Abortion Act’s social clause – nothing to do with the hard cases with which we are regularly regaled.  Abortion has become routine, with 48,000 people having more than one abortion– some as many as eight.


In 1967,the promoters of legalised abortion told Parliament: “We want to stamp out the back-street abortions, but it is not the intention of the Promoters of the Bill to leave a wide open door for abortion on request.” But who could now deny that is precisely what has happened?


The movers were excited that“ machines are now being developed in the United States which can determine if the chromosomes of a fœtus are so severely disordered that no human being recognisable as such could be born as a result of the conclusion of the pregnancy. The recent survey to which I referred earlier found that these grounds for the termination of pregnancy received the highest support from public opinion—91 per cent.”


This clause is used to abort babies with disabilities, up to and during birth. 90% of Down’s Syndrome  babies are now killed in the womb, along with babies with cleft palate or hair lip –  do they constitute “no human being recognisable as such”? 

The latest campaign call in the UK is for “after birth abortion” - allowing unwanted or sick babies to die rather than treat them. And there have been illegal gender  abortions – but justified by some by some campaigners as simply a matter of choice: my right to chose being the mantra of our age.

When they introduced legislative changes the movers said that to justify a legal abortion there had to be a serious risk to the health of the mother or a child and that two doctors had to verify this.  By the time the Bill became an Act, now including a social clause, the idea of serious risk had been jettisoned.


Recent revelations in the UK show that some doctors working in the lucrative abortion industry simply sign the authorising forms without having ever met or examined the patient. 


A hint of what was on the horizon, and how the law would be made elastic, was given when the movers told the House of Commons  “we must bear in mind some of the cases which are on the borderline between social, economic cases and purely medical cases.”



In 1967 Parliament was told that an opinion poll (carried out of course by the group trying to change the law) showed that each year there were 40,000 illegal abortions in Britain. Having said they would not cite unprovable estimates, the movers of the Bill proceeded to do just that, suggesting that the number of illegal abortions might be 200,000 each year. In reality, after the legislation was passed the number of legal abortions undertaken was 23,000, not 200,000. However, once legalised, the number has risen exponentially every year – ironically now reaching the scaremongering figure of 200,000 quoted during those debates. 


The movers told Parliament how much they respected the Catholic Church, but, not to worry “ the doctrine of the Church is not necessarily permanent.”  And the respect was short-lived as, in the next breath, Catholics were  attacked for daring to suggest that abortion might pave the way for the legalising of euthanasia: “My respect for the Catholic position on this question is occasionally dented by references to euthanasia.” And they quoted  more dubious opinion polls suggesting that 60% of Catholics backed the Bill.


Not to worry, though, Catholic medics would be protected by a conscience clause – but as Catholic midwives in Scotland discovered this year that protection did not extend to them.  And how many Catholics now feel able to work in gynaecology or obstetrics?


In support of their argument the Bill’s promoters cited several “hard cases” and dismissed the assertion that “hard cases make bad law.”


This all has great relevance in Ireland today  - where the recent tragic “hard case” of Savita Halappanavar is being used to try and justify a change in law there. 

In reality, if it had been necessary to end this poor woman’s pregnancy to save her life then Irish law already permits hospitals to do just that. Despite the endless headlines in the British press claiming otherwise, absolutely nothing in Irish law would have prevented the hospital from carrying out a termination.


The law in Ireland (and in Britain before 1967) permits a termination where a mother’s life is at risk and, for the further avoidance of doubt, this is in complete accord with the teachings of the Catholic Church. So it is bogus, and an attempt to exploit and manipulate a terrible personal tragedy, to suggest that Ireland needs to change its laws because of a maternal death.


Terrible tragedies occur in all jurisdictions but Ireland has one of the lowest maternal death rates in the world - lower than the British rate of maternal death where abortion is legal.

Ireland's maternal mortality rate is 4.1 per 100,000 births - one of the lowest in the world. By comparison the British rate is 12 per 100,000 and in the USA it is 21 per 100,000, and in India it is 200 per 100,000  - three countries with legal abortion. Surely those wishing to see a reduction in maternal deaths should campaign for laws like those in Ireland which save women's lives and those of their unborn children?  


And don’t forget that terrible tragedies also occur in botched legal abortions. In 2011 Phanuel Dartey  was struck off by the British General Medical Council  after he nearly killed an Irish woman while performing an abortion on her in a British Marie Stopes Clinic.


Britain and Ireland need to reflect that the ending of any life – in the womb or out of it – represents a defeat; and that fewer slogans, fewer sound-bites, less reliance on opinion polls, and more sober reflection might be a better way to proceed.





st agatha's church website - kingston upon thames