Catholic Bishops ratchet up pressure on Government over abortion legislation

Leaflets assert that lives of both mother and unborn baby are sacred

Foetus on ultrasound: Bishops claim ‘baby does not suddenly become a human being at birth’. Photograph: Bluestone/Science Photo Library

Foetus on ultrasound: Bishops claim ‘baby does not suddenly become a human being at birth’. Photograph: Bluestone/Science Photo Library

Mon, Jun 24, 2013, 08:48


In a leaflet circulated to every Catholic parish in the State at the weekend, the church’s bishops pointed out that under the Government’s proposed abortion legislation, “there are no sedatives to be administered to an unborn baby in advance of the taking of his or her life”.

They also said that “legal opinion suggests that the Abortion Bill contains no procedures to give effect to the ‘duty of care’ owed to the unborn” and that “ there is no appeal process for the unborn”.

Further, “there are no risk assessments for early delivery and there is no redress board for a baby who survives an abortion but suffers medical complications as a result of premature termination of pregnancy”, they said.

The leaflet is the fifth of 10 being distributed by the bishops on a weekly basis until the end of next month.*

This weekend’s leaflet said that “by virtue of their common humanity, the lives of both a mother and her unborn baby are sacred.

“The Church does not teach that the life of a child in the womb should be preferred to that of a mother.

“However, because a baby in the womb is voiceless, some would have us believe that she or he is less human or less deserving of life.”

It continued: “Any mother or father who has gazed in wonder at an ultrasound scan of their baby, or heard his or her heart beating for the first time, will know . . . that their baby does not suddenly become a human being at birth. And they will know that the daughter or son now present before them as an infant or teenager is the same human life, the same human child they saw in that first scan.”

* This article was edited on June 24th 2013 to correct a factual error