Reflections on the pro life campaign and the Citizens Assembly

Both Lives Matter | Blog | Reflections on the pro life campaign and the Citizens Assembly

We have been watching with concern, the campaign to extend abortion access in Ireland, and last Sunday’s vote in the Citizens Assembly highlights more than ever the need for accurate information, and reasoned and engaged debate.

The Assembly was formed to consider whether or not Ireland should repeal the amendment in the Irish constitution which gives both mother and unborn child an equal right to life.

The campaign to remove the protection of unborn life from the constitution led to the Assembly being established, with the remit to consider if and how that should be done. This enquiry concluded last weekend and their findings will now be taken to the Oireachtas to decide what legislative reform should be carried out.

Whatever happens in the Republic of Ireland it will have a significant impact on Northern Ireland. Our friend’s at The Pro-Life Campaign have kindly agreed to let us share their reflection on the events of the last weekend.

Dear Friend,

We all felt a deep dismay at the decisions of the Citizens’ Assembly on Sunday. But nothing they did should allow us for a second to become disheartened.

As an observer, I sat through the entire Assembly sessions last weekend and have never witnessed anything like it.

Chaos and confusion

Moments before they had to vote, Assembly Members were hurriedly asking questions on things like abortion time limits, exposing their frightening lack of knowledge of even the most basic of facts.

In reply to one question, a panellist explained to the Members how babies that survive abortions would have to be given an injection of potassium chloride into their heart in order to end their life. Members voted just minutes later – without any discussion or reflection on the inhumanity of this proposal.  Over and over, ballot by ballot, they voted for abortion options, one more extreme than the other.

As you will have seen, the reaction of leading members of the main political parties the next day was one of palpable unease at the extremism of the Assembly’s recommendations.

They shouldn’t have been surprised. These same politicians tasked the Assembly with the job of reporting back to them on which categories of unborn human life they deemed unworthy of being legally protected.

The Assembly sensed the opportunity they were given and recommended that no unborn babies were deserving of protection.

Politically “saleable” abortion

Already some members of Government are talking about toning down the Assembly’s recommendations so they can bring forward a proposal for abortion on more limited grounds.

They are closing their eyes to the crystal clear lesson from the Citizens’ Assembly process – once you hint at even a single unborn baby’s life being undeserving of protection, you are effectively saying that as far as you are concerned, none have intrinsic value.

As pro-life supporters, we have to step forward and drive this irrefutable point home without ceasing.

Will you join me?

The confusion and chaos at the Assembly last weekend has given us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to act now to save the 8th Amendment.

Engaging in media debates and improving our communications skills, while important, will only get us so far.

Right now, by far and away the most important thing is each one of us stepping up to the mark and personally committing to spend at least two hours a week actively engaging with friends, family and neighbours on the pro-life message – talking face to face, handing them a leaflet, telling them about online sites where they may view beautifully made videos that lay out our vision – we know this works because it is already working, even among young people in the universities.

If we work together, we will win

I am confident the battle to safeguard the 8th Amendment can and will be won provided we overcome our fears and put away our excuses and get moving.

At heart our message is about respect for the weakest among us. It is a message of hope that the public will embrace if we reach out to them.  Human rights never get old. They don’t pass their sell-by-date. The 8th Amendment is as vital and meaningful today as it was when first introduced.

If you are not already volunteering to help the pro-life cause, do not let today go by without getting in touch with us.

There is no time to waste. This is a great time to be a pro-life activist.  Sign up here today

Warmest regards,

Cora Sherlock