Catholics urged to lobby TDs against abortion
on 08/10/2012 00:00:00
An expert group is expected to report as early as this week on how the State can comply with the ruling, which found Ireland failed to implement the 1992 X Case ruling to enable women to have an abortion when their life is at risk during pregnancy.
In the letter, entitled Choose Life, the Bishops said it is a decisive moment for the country. "Our Government is free to respond by seeking full protection in Irish law for the right to life of the baby in the womb," it said.
In his homily at the Killala diocesan pilgrimage to Knock yesterday, Bishop John Fleming said if abortion was allowed, even in very limited circumstances, it would become "more widespread" than intended.
"Our public representatives now face a critical decision," he said. "They can either uphold the right to life of both the mother and the child in the womb, or they can choose to introduce abortion legislation to Ireland, with all the tragic consequences this will have.
"Faced with this decision, bishops ask our public representatives to make a positive choice: Every human life is beautiful, every human life is precious - choose life."
The intervention is likely to anger politicians, particularly in Labour, which supports legislation allowing a woman have an abortion if her life is at risk.
Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte previously said it would be a "retrogressive step if we were to go back to the days of the Catholic Church dictating to elected public representatives how they should address an issue".
At least 15 Fine Gael TDs have threatened to vote against any changes to the law, with some calling for a free vote if the issue comes before the Dáil.
Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton, when asked twice yesterday, refused to say if he was in favour of letting TDs vote independently of the party whip.