Today, something changed in Ireland. For the first time in history, abortion is now readily available and practiced throughout 26 of our 32 counties.
From this day forth, a new service will be offered in local medical centres.
As patients are examined by their GPs and prescribed medication to improve their health, another doctor in the next room could be helping to administer an abortion pill specifically designed to cut off an unborn child’s supply of blood and nourishment.
In the coming days, the first abortions will start to be performed in Irish maternity hospitals. This is in spite of the lack of preparation and training, and the fears expressed by pro-choice physicians that the rushed legislation could lead to tragic patient outcomes.
The National Maternity Hospital in Dublin – which bears the motto ‘Life Glorious Life’ – will begin accepting abortion referrals from January 7th, with the Rotunda and other hospitals likely to follow suit shortly afterwards.
This represents a new departure for hospitals that previously worked to safely bring babies into this world.
Babies will continue to be born in them, but at the same time and in the same location, other defenseless infants will have their lives extinguished in grotesque procedures.
Doctors and midwives will undertake both kinds of work: safeguarding the lives of some babies and deliberately ending the lives of others. The survival of one infant will be heralded as a job well done; the death of another at the exact same stage of pregnancy will be regarded as a successful outcome.
The difference between the two children is not scientific. One is wanted and one is not. Therefore, one’s life has value and the other does not. Science has as little to do with it as reason does. This is the new Ireland and these are the inherent contradictions witnessed daily in any country that allows abortion-on-request.
For thousands of years, the Hippocratic Oath and the guidance to ‘Do No Harm’ has underpinned medical ethics worldwide, including in Ireland.
Not anymore. A large number of medical professionals will routinely do the ultimate harm by deliberately terminating human life.
A spokesperson for the HSE recently stated that an extra 155 staff will be needed to “enable the implementation of a safe, high-quality termination of pregnancy service in the acute hospital system.”
Aside from the advent of the specialist terminator, we can expect further changes in the years to come.
The abortion regime which the Government devised in order to win the referendum is, like many of their other plans, probably doomed to failure.
Before the people were asked to vote, the Tánaiste Simon Coveney assured voters that there would be ‘no abortion clinics’ in Ireland, even if abortion were to be legalised.
This promise is unlikely to be kept, especially if the GP-based system runs into problems. In that case, Marie Stopes Dublin will soon be a reality, and not a pleasant one.
New legislation will also be introduced to limit the right to peaceful protest outside premises where abortions are performed.
The Taoiseach, the Health Minister and other politicians have been gleefully anticipating this day.
While the boyish enthusiasm of Harris and others seems tasteless, it is understandable in the current political circumstances.
This Government has presided over a housing crisis marked by soaring rents and record homelessness figures. Around ten thousand men, women and children are without homes.
In the health sector, the problems are even more serious. Over 700,000 people – around one in seven Irish people – are on a waiting list of some kind, and the next trolley crisis is always just around the corner.
The introduction of abortion services provides unpopular politicians with an opportunity to ride the crest of the liberal wave while distracting voters from their failings in other areas.
By associating themselves with a legislative change which earned broad popular support, our reigning political class also gain an opportunity to rewrite history to suit their ends.
Leo Varadkar said that the vote in May to introduce abortion was the culmination “a quiet revolution.”
The fact that this quiet revolution involved illegal funding from a foreign billionaire, physical intimidation against public speakers with pro-life views, massive and systemic bias by the national media, the expulsion of pro-life politicians from their parties, the large-scale destruction of campaign posters and the banning of all online ads by a multinational corporation acting at the behest of abortion advocates means nothing.
It wasn’t a revolution and it certainly wasn’t quiet, but they won and so they get to write the history book afterwards. Such is politics.
A dishonest narrative created by a disingenuous political elite is appropriate given the circumstances. Dishonesty is at the heart of all efforts to promote or advance the acceptance of abortion.
Abortion became acceptable in Ireland in the same way and for the same reasons that it became acceptable elsewhere. Its acceptability in polite society is based on unspoken agreements never to ask the obvious questions or say what is best left unsaid.
In this respect, politicians are no more culpable than those ordinary citizens who support their efforts. Taking time to consider the issues which abortion presents is to be avoided at all costs, and clear thinking needs to be replaced with cheap slogans, no matter how transparently illogical they are.
Abortion is fine (but let’s call it termination, or better yet, choice).
Abortion clinics are bad (because they provide abortions).
It is only a foetus, just a cluster of cells (unless the pregnancy is wanted, in which case ‘baby’ immediately becomes the preferable term).
Abortion is a private choice (but everyone should have to pay for it).
Abortion is a personal decision (up until 12 weeks into a pregnancy, at which point it magically becomes everyone’s business).
There is nothing distressing about abortion (but no one should explain what it involves, or God forbid, show it in picture form).
It is part of being a liberal society (and protests against it should be banned or at the very least severely circumscribed).
It is a normal part of healthcare (even if most doctors want nothing to do with it, and many would leave their profession rather than perform such a procedure).
It is a New Year, and it is a new Ireland too. We voted to make it so, but it’s never too late to begin to think, and ask questions.