Tomorrow, Saturday, a Rally for Life will take place in Dublin, starting at the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, and marching to Leinster House, where the Dáil (Parliament)and Seanad (Senate) chambers are.
Before the rally there will be Mass in near St Saviour's Church, the Dominican church just around the corner from Parnell Square, with Coadjutor Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin as the main celebrants
Earlier this week the main governing party, Fine Gael, expelled four of its members from the parliamentary party, Deputies Billy Timmins, Terence Flanagan, Peter Mathews and Brian Walsh. As Mr Timmins pointed out in The Irish Times, The party itself broke a pledge to the electorate that it would not legislate for the X case because, in the words of former taoiseach John Bruton, it would legislate for abortion. The issue was not in the Programme for Government, so certainly from that aspect, I feel a little bit hard done by.
In other words, these four TDs (members of parliament), have been thrown out - they had to vacate their offices the morning after the vote - for being faithful to the programme their party put before the electorate.
The GENERAL SCHEME OF THE Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 is online.
Under 'Head 1 Interpretation', on page 3, it says: (1) In this Act . . . “neonate” means a baby who is 4 weeks old or younger.
Two words there are used only for human beings: 'baby' and 'who'. In other words, the bill clearly sees the child in the mother's womb in the first few weeks of her pregnancy as a human being.
The Government persists in including the threat of suicide by the mother as a valid reason to allow an abortion right up to the time of birth despite the clear medical and psychiatric advice that abortion is not a 'cure' for suicidal thoughts. A Supreme Court judgement made in 1991 that has no basis in medical science or psychiatry surely isn't a basis for allowing the taking of one life to 'save' another.
The Twenty-first Amendment of the Constitution Act, 2001, approved by the people on 27 March 2002, forbids the use of the death penalty. Perhaps this should be brought to the attention of the legislators since the 'Protection of Life' Bill - what a misleading title - if passed would condemn to death innocent and voiceless beings already implicitly defined as humans in the bill.