Lack of safeguards in Irish abortion bill 'an affront to conscience'
FREE Catholic Classes
The Irish bishops on Friday lamented that the draft bill to legalize abortion in the Republic would require pro-life healthcare professionals to provide abortion referrals, calling the provision "an affront to conscience."
Dublin, Ireland, (CNA/EWTN News) - "The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018 poses a very real practical and moral dilemma for healthcare professionals who believe in the fundamental human right to life and in their own responsibility to serve life," read an Oct. 5 statement from the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference.
They noted that the bill envisages that in the first twelve weeks, abortion will generally be chemically induced.
"This presumes that pharmacists, whether in hospitals or in private practice, will routinely stock and dispense drugs whose specific purpose is to end human life. No provision is made for pharmacists to opt out on the grounds of conscientious objection."
The bishops added that while the bill allows doctors and nurses to opt out of providing abortion, it nevertheless "requires that ... they refer the patient to a colleague who will perform the procedure. This requirement may have the appearance of respecting freedom of conscience but, in reality, it requires a healthcare professional to cooperate in what he or she sincerely believes is doing harm to one patient and taking the life of another."
"We ask the Government, and wider society, to respect the right of all healthcare professionals and pharmacists to exercise conscientious objection not only by refusing to participate actively in abortion but also by declining to refer their patients to others for abortion," the bishops said.
They said, "Healthcare professionals, pharmacists and ancillary healthcare workers, should not face legal, professional or financial penalties or any form of discrimination for their commitment to respect life."
A significant number of general practitioners in the Republic of Ireland are appealing not to be forced to refer patients to other doctors for abortions.
The bishops noted that in New Zealand, healthcare professionals "opt in" to the provision of abortion, rather than opting out; nor are those who object to the procedure obliged to provide referrals for it.
"We believe that the Government, by following this approach, could demonstrate respect for the freedom of conscience of healthcare professionals. We ask politicians, whatever their position on the termination of pregnancy, to work towards this."
Irish Health Minister Simon Harris criticized the opt-in stance, which is supported by the National Association of General Practitioners. In June, the group of 2,000 practitioners unanimously voted in favor of the "opt-in" method.
The Irish bishops said that freedom of conscience is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and that "to strip a person of the right to freedom of conscience is to undermine his or her fundamental dignity as a person."
"At this challenging time, we encourage all Catholics to pray for healthcare professionals and to pray for politicians that they, and we too, may have the wisdom to know what is right and the courage to do what is right."
Ireland faces a potential shortage of doctors willing to participate in abortions; a March survey of Irish healthcare professionals found that that roughly seven out of 10 general practitioners in Ireland are unwilling to perform abortions.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar clarified to the DĂˇil in June that individual medical professionals will be able to opt out of performing abortions, but entire hospitals will not be able to do so. Many publicly-funded hospitals have historic ties to the Catholic Church and operate under Catholic ethics.
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2018
Priests and their Pastoral Ministry. That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.
An Italian magazine has raised new questions about a Vatican official mentioned in the August "testimony" of Archbishop Carlo Vigano. ... continue reading
The head of the United States government's international aid agency met with Vatican officials and an Iraqi cardinal Wednesday, in an ... continue reading
South Koreaâ s President Moon Jae-in met with Pope Francis today after praying for peace on the Korean peninsula in St. Peterâ s ... continue reading
El P. Angel FernAndez Artime, Rector Mayor de los salesianos, pidio en el Sinodo de los Obispos ser cercanos a los jovenes para que ... continue reading
El Papa Francisco recibio en el Palacio Apostolico del Vaticano al presidente de la Republica de Corea, conocida tambien como Corea del ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Pope Francis & South Korean president pray for peace
- Daily Reading for Saturday, October 20th, 2018 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Friday, October 19, 2018
- Prayer Requests Live for Thursday, October 18, 2018 HD Video
- Sts. Isaac Jogues and Rene Goupil: Saint of the Day for Friday, ...
- Questions arise about Vatican official mentioned in Vigano report
- USAID head meets with Vatican officials to talk aid for Iraq
- Prayer Requests Live for Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Friday, October 19th, 2018 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Monday, October 15th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education