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Friday, February 15, 2013

John Bruton says Government abortion legislation contrary to Constitution

John Bruton - former Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader
In today's Irish Times, former Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader, John Bruton says that Government plans to legalise abortion are contrary to the Constitutional protection of the unborn, and that there can be "no equal right to life if law embraces suicide risk". 

He says that "a provision allowing a suicide threat to be a basis for ending the life of an unborn child" would not be consistent with the wording of the Constitution, which states that the State has a responsibility to "defend and vindicate” the right to life of the unborn child. 

He points out that the 8th amendment in 1983 was "put there with the explicit approval of the people", and that inclusion of a suicide risk as grounds for an abortion was decided, "to the surprise of many", in a court, and was not introduced by the will of the people in a referendum.
[When the question of abortion based on perceived risk of suicide was put to referendum in 1992 and 2002, all pro-life people opposed the proposed amendment the first time and some pro-life groups opposed the proposed amendment the second time.] 

We have human rights because we are human beings, not because other people or a legislature deems us "worthy" of rights. Bruton recalls Judge Hederman's words from the Supreme Court judgement in 1992: “The right of life is guaranteed to every life, born or unborn. One cannot make distinctions between individual phases of the unborn life before birth, or between unborn and born.” Mr. Bruton makes the important point that human rights are not stripped from specific groups of persons based on taste or opinion at a particular point in time. He says "The underlying idea behind putting human rights in the Constitution is to ensure that they cannot be easily reduced".  

Bruton concludes "to introduce a law providing that an expression of a threat of suicide by one person would be sufficient ground for the taking away of the life of another, would not be in accord with the actual words in the Constitution. There would be no “equal” right to life in such a law, and an equal right to life is what the Constitution requires. ...  It would institute a rule of convenience, at the expense of a rule of rights." 

See John Bruton's full article on the Irish Times website by clicking here
See related piece by Stephen Collins, Irish Times Political Editor, by clicking here

Click here to see the Pro Life Campaign's briefing document, which outlines how guidelines - not legislation - are the way forward. 

1 comment:

  1. Well done John Bruton for being a voice for the unborn child,.......I hope more ministers will have a conscience and agree with you, Abortion is not the way forward. God knows, look at America?, Planned Parenthood, botched Abortions leading to women dying, 50,000000 babies aborted since Roe v Wade case. It's a cruel, horrible practice and time people like you John, made a stand for human beings. How can a women even consider killing her child, by this brutal method called Abortion?