Legalising abortion akin to legalising speeding, argues Iona Institute

Maria Steen says the answer to women taking abortion pills ‘is not to make it legal’

Iona Institute spokesperson Maria Steen  said the Eighth Amendment protected all lives and was a good law. Photograph: Iona Institute

Iona Institute spokesperson Maria Steen said the Eighth Amendment protected all lives and was a good law. Photograph: Iona Institute

 

The arguments being put forward for legalising abortion are comparable to calling for the legalisation of speeding, a spokesperson for the Iona Institute has said.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show Maria Steen said the argument that women were already going to the UK for abortion and that therefore abortion should be legalised in Ireland was comparable to saying people speed on the roads and therefore speeding should be legalised to deal with the issue.

She said just because women were taking abortion pills did not make it right. The proposal to repeal the 8th amendment was in effect saying that if someone was afraid of their pregnancy the best situation was to “get rid” of the baby, she claimed.

On the same programme Senator Catherine Noone, who chaired the Oireachtas Committee on abortion, said Minister for Health Simon Harris had shown bravery in his speech in the Dáil on Wednesday.

“The reality is that woman from all over the country are going to the UK on a daily basis. This isn’t something that he is saying lightly.”

Ms Noone said she was not pro abortion, pro choice or pro life and would not be “boxed into a category.”

The Senator said everyone on the committee had listened carefully to the evidence. “None of us came to this conclusion lightly.”

She said it was hypocritical to say abortion was ok “as long as you go to the UK to get it. The reality is we live in a country where women want access to abortion.” Ms Noone said she was incredulous at the hypocrisy of some people saying “abortion is ok as long as you go to the UK to get it”.

She said at present, the law in the State said that this is “quite ok to do”.

Ms Steen replied the Eighth Amendment protected all lives and was a good law.

She added if doctors believed abortion pills are dangerous then they should tell women about the dangers. “The answer is not to make it legal.”

A Dáil debate on the report by the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment resumes today.