All pro-life politicians reelected in Ireland while high-profile pro-abortion TDs lose their seats

All fifteen politicians who voted against legalising abortion in the Republic of Ireland, in 2018, have kept their seats in the country’s general election. 

In contrast, many of the country’s strident pro-abortion members of Ireland’s lower house, Dáil Éireann, lost their seats.

Pro-life candidates overcame redrawn constituency maps and, according to Gript, targeted abuse on social media to defy the predictions of pollsters, who forecast their seats would be in trouble over their views. 

On Monday, it was confirmed that all fifteen had been reelected as Teachta Dála (TDs) with six candidates topping the polls for their constituencies.

Ahead of the election, Sinn Féin poured huge resources into an attempt to oust two pro-life candidates who resigned after the party adopted a pro-abortion stance, 2018 – after the two were reelected in 2016.

Carol Nolan and Peadar Tóibín resigned from the party after initially being suspended for voting against legislation that saw the introduction of abortion, up to 12 weeks, to the Republic of Ireland.

At the time of her resignation Carol said: “I do not want to have any hand, act or part in bringing about the end to the life of an unborn child, the most vulnerable in our society… Every life is precious and every child deserves the chance to live.”

Announcing his own resignation, Peadar said he had been sidelined and blocked from “fully representing” his constituents over his pro-life views.

Despite Sinn Féin’s best attempts to unseat Carol and Peadar, both have been reelected again and have subsequently announced they will not help their previous party form a new Government.

Meanwhile, a number of outspoken pro-abortion TDs, from across the political spectrum, have lost their seats. 

Deputy Kate O’Connell lost her Dublin Bay South seat after jeering pro-life TDs when amendments to the Abortion Bill were rejected, saying “We won, ye lost. Ye must be hurting”

O’Connell has also claimed that the existence of abortion survivors were “fairytales,” prompting Melissa Ohden, who survived a saline abortion in 1977, to make a personal video for Kate asking her to apologise. She did not. 

The former Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty, who abandoned her pro-life stance to become a leading government campaigner for repeal, lost her Meath East seat after describing the pro-life position as “born out of ignorance”.

The former Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor, who voted for the abortion bill in 2018, lost her seat to pro-life TD Cormac Devlin.

Fianna Fáil’s Lisa Chambers Fianna who claimed that abortion regret was a “makey-uppy thing” lost her seat in Mayo.

Fianna Fáil also lost Timmy Dooley in Clare. Dooley supported repeal of the 8th and voted against giving pain relief to babies in late-term abortion, despite new evidence showing babies may experience pain as early as 13 weeks.

The Socialist Party’s Ruth Coppinger, who is strongly opposed to help being offered outside abortion clinics and led an “abortion pill bus” around the country in 2015 and 2017, lost her Leinster House seat.

The results of the election has been a boost to pro-life campaigners in the country. A spokesperson for the Pro-Life Campaign, Denise Kelly welcomed the news as “truly uplifting”

She told the Iona Institute: “Some had their chances of re-election completely written off by the media, others had to overcome huge opposition within their parties because of their pro-life stance – all of them deserve our heartiest congratulations for standing up for life and prevailing.

“It is important to mention that other candidates were also elected who are solidly pro-life. Together, they have shown the leadership of the main political parties that the electorate appreciate people who stick to their principles and don’t waver under pressure”.

The results in Ireland mirror those seen in the UK, where Right To Life UK’s analysis revealed that, following the December 2019 election, the number of pro-life MPs has increased while the pro-abortion lobby has lost a large number of MPs.

The fifteen reelected pro-life TDs are:

  • Mary Butler
  • Seán Canney
  • Michael Collins
  • Michael Fitzmaurice
  • Peter Fitzpatrick
  • Noel Grealish
  • Danny Healy-Rae
  • Michael Healy-Rae
  • Michael Lowry
  • Marc Mac Sharry
  • Mattie McGrath
  • John McGuinness
  • Carol Nolan
  • Eamon O’Cuiv
  • Peadar Tóibín

Patient advocate resigns after most of Ireland’s ring-fenced maternity care funds spent on abortion

Ireland’s Health and Security Executive has diverted money ‘ring-fenced’ for maternity care to pay for abortions, prompting a patient advocate to resign.

Launched by Mr Varadkar when he was Minister for Health, in 2016, the Government’s 10-year National Maternity Plan promised €8 million a year would be spent on developing quality, safe, consistent and well-resourced care in Ireland’s 19 maternity units.

However, the Irish Times reports that only a small fraction of the funds set aside went towards maternal care after the new Minister for Health, Simon Harris, used most of the fund to pay for Ireland’s new abortion regime.

The move prompted one of the two patient advocates on the board of the country’s Health Service Executive to resign.

Mark Molloy told the Irish Times he resigned because the HSE could only fund 12% of the €8 million a year promised for the National Maternity Strategy.

Mark’s son was one of a number of babies who died unnecessarily as a result of failings at Portlaoise hospital. Since then, the quantity surveyor has campaigned for greater accountability and patient representation in the health service.

Simon Harris and HSE chairman Ciarán Devane both tried to persuade Mark to stay on the board, but he stuck with his convictions and his decision to resign.

The lack of funding for maternal health care can have deadly consequences.

Last year, Marie Downey, who had just given birth to her baby son Darragh, died after suffering a severe epileptic seizure in Cork University Maternity hospital. Baby Darragh, who also died after being trapped on the floor when his mother fell, was buried in her arms. It was revealed just three nurses were on duty on the ward that night, caring for 31 patients.

Prior to that tragedy, another mother, Karen McEvoy died of sepsis on Christmas Day after giving birth to a baby girl in the Coombe maternity hospital.

Despite these failings of the HSE, Simon Harris, has taken money away from the strategy group tasked with ensuring women do not die around pregnancy and childbirth – in order to fund abortion.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“Now that abortion is legal, it appears the safety of women who are pregnant or have just given birth is no longer the priority of Ireland’s Minister for Health or the country’s Health Service Executive.

“There’s a tragic irony in the Government’s decision to take money away from good maternal care and giving it abortion. This has potentially risked the lives of many women and the extra funding for abortion has definitely ended the lives of babies.”

Pro-life doctors stand firm in Ireland – will not perform abortions in at least 3 hospitals

At least three hospitals in Ireland are not performing any abortions as doctors have conscientiously objected to be involved with the horrific procedure.

A number of doctors in the Republic of Ireland continue to recognise that in treating a pregnant woman they are in fact treating two patients – mother and baby – and refuse to be complicit in ending the lives of unborn children.

According to TheJournal.ie, a briefing document from May 2019 states that “conscientious objection is still a significant challenge in Letterkenny University Hospital”. Sligo University Hospital has also had a large number of doctors conscientiously objecting to perform abortions.

After a referendum in 2018, where Ireland voted to remove all legal protection for its own unborn citizens, doctors found themselves in a position of potentially being forced to perform abortions against their own conscience.

In relation to conscientious objections, the Department of Health said:

“It should be noted that the legislation provides that a medical practitioner, nurse or midwife shall not be obliged to carry out, or to participate in carrying out, a termination of pregnancy where he/she has a conscientious objection.”

However, robust conscientious objection protections are still not in place in Irish law.

The new abortion law requires the conscientious objector to “make such arrangements for the transfer of care of the pregnant woman”, meaning that they must send the woman to a doctor who will perform an abortion. In this way, the state forces doctors to participate in the processes of ending the life of one of their patients. 

Ireland remains the only country in the world to have removed the human rights of an entire segment of its people by popular vote.

Clare McCarthy from Right To Life UK:

“It’s really encouraging that so many doctors in Ireland are refusing to perform abortions. They recognise that their professional duty towards the health of their patients extends to both mother and child.”

“Many doctors enter the profession to save lives, not to end them. In which case, it would be a very serious form of state oppression to fundamentally alter a profession in the manner that abortion does, and then punish doctors who refuse to be involved in it.”

“When the majority of doctors in Ireland began their career, there were strong protections in law for unborn children. It would be deeply unjust to force doctors to perform abortions now that those protections have been removed, because performing abortions was never part of their job description, is not healthcare and goes deeply against their conscience.”

A year on, and many regret repealing Eighth Amendment

One year on from the referendum that removed the Eighth Amendment and allowed abortion, campaigners are demanding that access to abortion be increased. Those who followed the debate will hardly be surprised.

After all, things are very different to when Health Minister Simon Harris heralded a post-referendum “brighter Ireland” in which concerns regarding the new act would be inserted via amendments.

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