Irish bishops out of touch

Press Release. 12 December 2001.

Irish church out of touch with needs of women with crisis pregnancies

The Irish Bishops' Conference has thrown its weight behind the Government's abortion Bill. The bishops explicitly support the roll back of the 'x case' judgement, which they denounce as "flawed". They reject the risk to life by suicide as grounds for abortion.

Commenting on the announcement from the Bishops' Conference, Catherine Naji said:

"As in the past, the Irish bishops' prescriptions are out of touch with how people today - including Catholics - behave in their day-to-day life. Tens of thousands took to the streets supporting the right to abortion in the 'x case' in 1992. Irish people want contraception and divorce, despite the edicts of the bishops. Any reasonable parent, whose daughter was suicidal due to a rape-related pregnancy, would choose to get her an abortion rather than risk her life or cause lifelong emotional damage. The more honest Fianna Fail TDs - like Noel Ahern - admit that's what they would do.

In rejecting the risk to life by suicide as grounds for abortion, the Irish bishops show themselves to be creatures of dogma who lack empathy and compassion. Their rejection of abortion for Irish women with enforced pregnancies is similar to the Vatican's initial insistence that Bosnian rape-victims who were pregnant must go to full term. Now as then, the bishops are clinging to the dogmas of the past."

The proposal that risk of suicide should not be grounds for abortion was voted down in the 1992 referendum. We are confidant that despite the support of the bishops, the Government's abortion Bill will be voted down in 2002.

To the Alliance for a No Vote page