Attempts to Undermine Constitutionally Guaranteed Freedom of Conscience
HLI Ireland is reporting that Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Irish Parliament in Dublin, will debate a bill Wednesday, November 14, 2017, aimed at shutting down pregnancy pro-life counseling networks. The proposed change is to section 4(1) of the Principal Act. Deputy Louise O’Reilly of Sinn Féin, the Irish Republican political party, is attempting to redefine the roles of “counselor” and “psychotherapist,” in the giving of information, advice and counseling to pregnant women in crisis pregnancies. Deputy O’Reilly’s Amendment backs an agenda aimed at muzzling pregnancy pro-life counseling agencies that uphold the Constitution’s right to life of the mother and her unborn child.
HLI Ireland Director Patrick McCrystal stated: “The government must be guided by the constitution, specifically Article 44.2.1°, and 3°, which guarantees freedom of conscience, and freedom from disabilities ‘on the ground of religious profession belief or status.’ Consequently, pro-life pregnancy counselors must be allowed to continue to counsel pregnant women in a way that does not violate their freedom of conscience and religion and their view that human life at all stages is sacred.”
Deputy O’Reilly is tabling the motion to the Health and Social Care Professionals (Amendment) Bill 2017. Its aim is to affect counseling pregnant women in the scope of the Bill. Ms. O’Reilly has been outspoken in her pro-abortion stance, stating that the Eighth Amendment must be repealed. The Eighth Amendment guarantees equal right to life for both mother and unborn child under the Constitution. There is to be a referendum on the Amendment next May or June, to determine if the Amendment should be repealed.
Contact Your Deputy to Support Pro-Life Counseling
Human Life International in Ireland is urging as many constituents as possible to contact their deputies to voice opposition to the bill. Those representatives are listed here on HLI Ireland’s website.
As HLI President, Father Shenan J. Boquet stated after one of his mission trips to Ireland, “In the name of tolerance, our opponents demand concession upon concession, and if we comply it only shows that we stand for nothing…. Let us humbly ask St. Patrick for his intercession in igniting the fire of faith within the Irish people so that Ireland can again become a light to the rest of the world.”
Wednesday HLI Ireland staff will be attending mass at 5:30pm at Clarendon Street Church to pray for a good outcome, and afterwards at 6:45 holding a vigil outside Dáil Éireann (Kildare Street, Dublin 2), while the bill is being discussed. The special intention at the vigil is Ask Majella’s crisis pregnancy work.
Please continue to pray for Ireland, including the failure of this motion and the retention of the Eighth Amendment.