We are deeply saddened by this evening’s vote in Seanad Éireann rejecting amendments that would have ensured that medical care be given to babies who survive the abortion procedure and requiring pain relief to be administered to unborn babies before they lose their lives in late-term abortions.
Nothing in these amendments would have interfered with access to abortion under the new law or to necessary medical treatment of women during pregnancy.
All the amendments sought to achieve was mercy and a modicum of respect for unborn babies in the appalling situations in which they are placed.
Regrettably the Minister for Health and a majority of the Seanad refused to show compassion by supporting humane amendments that would have lessen in some small way the terrible injustice at the heart of the Government’s abortion bill.
It was a sad spectacle to see the Seanad chamber emptying as soon as these amendments were introduced.
These amendments were put forward as a result of the international reality that unborn babies who survive abortion are routinely left to die alone without receiving any medical care. They reflect the reality that babies are denied pain relief during late-term abortions despite mounting peer-reviewed evidence that unborn babies can feel pain from around 20 weeks gestation and possibly even earlier.
As a society and as elected representatives, we cannot hide from the inconvenient truth of what legalised abortion involves. There is much talk in the Seanad about social solidarity and care for the most vulnerable and defenceless in society.
Things were very different this evening in the Seanad chamber.
We are extremely thankful to our colleagues who did stand up for life this evening by supporting the humane amendments we tabled.