Abortion 'permitted' in certain cases


OTHER CHURCHES:The Methodist Church in Ireland opposes abortion on demand but its representative Heidi Good said the church believed a termination was permissible where the mother’s life was at risk and where there was risk of grave injury to the physical or mental health of the mother. The church believed termination was permissible in cases of rape or incest, “gross abnormality of the foetus or otherwise where it is incapable of survival”.

Ms Good, a lay representative of the church, said legislators “should not attempt to legislate for a specific form of morality or church or faith, but rather to set minimum standards for the social good”.

Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Dr Roy Patton said “the embryo should be treated as a person . . . We have a very strong pro-life position. We are opposed to any question of abortion on demand.” Dr Trevor Morrow, minister at Lucan Presbyterian Church, Dublin, said “it is wrong to allow a mother to die. It is wrong to take the life of a child, but in some circumstances it may be necessary to choose what is least wrong . . . and that would be particularly true when you are dealing with circumstances where there is not an immediate and imminent threat to the life of the mother.”

Only alternative

Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland said that “in the unlikely event when a group of competent trustworthy physicians confirm that the continuity of pregnancy jeopardises the mother’s life, abortion could be conducted as the last and only alternative to protect the mother’s life”.

He believed a green card could not be given for abortion in the case of rape but if doctors believed abortion was the only option when physical or psychological problems were considered, he would support that.

Rabbi Zalman Lent of the Dublin Hebrew Congregation said Jewish law permitted abortion in certain cases, “primarily when carrying the unborn to term would cause danger and risk to the mother’s life”.

Chairman of Atheist Ireland Michael Nugent urged the Government to “please stop this unethical pattern of lawmaking by reacting to personal tragedies . . . whatever laws you pass, please base them on human rights and compassion and on applying reason and empirical evidence and not on religious doctrines”.