Attempts to Undermine Constitutionally Guaranteed Freedom of Conscience
HLI Ireland reported that Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Irish Parliament in Dublin, would 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. The motion was tabled to the Health and Social Care Professionals (Amendment) Bill 2017.
Regrettably, the Dáil debated and passed the bill to regulate crisis pregnancy counselors. Human Life International in Ireland had urged as many constituents as possible to contact their deputies, listed on HLI Ireland’s website. The changes are as yet unknown, but HLI Ireland has stated it plans to continue to oppose any anti-life motions.
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.”
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 O’Reilly has been outspoken in her pro-abortion stance, stating that the Eighth Amendment must be repealed.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 There is to be a referendum on the Amendment next May or June, to determine if the Amendment should be repealed.
Please Pray for Ireland
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.”
HLI Ireland thanks you in advance for your prayers, both for its efforts and the retention of the Eighth Amendment.