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Preliminary Response Catholic Bishops of Ireland to Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013

Preliminary response by the Catholic Bishops of Ireland to Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013
The Catholic bishops of Ireland stress once again the importance ofcontinuing to provide a health care service in Ireland which ensures complete respect for the  sacredness of the life both of the mother and her unborn baby.   The bishops express their appreciation of the work carried out day by day in this ethos by doctors, nurses, midwives and other health personnel. Through Cura, the  Church's crisis pregnancy agency, help is available to any woman facing a crisis  pregnancy.
The Heads of the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013 published by the  Government on Wednesday would, if approved, make the direct and intentional killing  of unborn children lawful in Ireland. 
The Bill as outlined represents a dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish  law and is unnecessary to ensure that women receive the life-saving treatment they  need during pregnancy.
The Gospel of Life is at the heart of the message of Jesus; the deliberate decision  to deprive an innocent human being of life is always morally wrong.  We uphold the  right to life as the foundation of every other human right. We encourage a deeper  understanding of the inviolability of the right to life of both a mother and her  unborn child, in all circumstances. 
Accordingly, at this crucial time, it is essential that all who share these beliefs  make them clear to their legislators.
The Bill also appears to impose a duty on Catholic hospitals to provide abortions.  This would be totally unacceptable and has serious implications for the existing legal and Constitutional arrangements that respect the legitimate autonomy and religious  ethos of faith-based institutions. It would also pose serious difficulties for the  conscientious beliefs of many citizens.
Abortion, in the sense of directly killing the unborn child, is never a remedy for  suicidal ideation and therefore should never be cited as a justification for the  direct killing of an innocent human being. It is a tragic moment for Irish society  when we regard the deliberate destruction of a completely innocent person as an  acceptable response to the threat of the preventable death of another person. 
We invite all who cherish human life to support the Vigil for Life which is taking  place in Knock tomorrow (4th May). We encourage everyone who can attend the Vigil to  do so or to join in prayer with us. 
Cherish both mother and baby; Choose life.

Article posted on 3rd of May 2013

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