Darkest Day in Irish History

The Holy Night (The Nativity), Carlo Maratti [Web Gallery of Art]

Today, New Year's Day 2019, is the darkest day in the history of the independent Ireland (the Republic of Ireland) that came into being in 1922. Starting today, it is now legal in Ireland to kill an unborn baby for any reason whatever up to 12 weeks. After that the unborn child may be killed for specific reasons related to the health of the mother or to the perceived chances of a baby being born dead or not likely to live more than 28 days after birth.

It will still be a serious crime to take the life of a child after 12 weeks except within the circumstances where the law allows abortion, though not in the case of a woman ending her own pregnancy.

Early abortions will be carried out mainly by General Practitioners (GPs) who are willing to do them.

Doctors and other medical personnel may refuse to carry out abortions but, as far as I know, doctors will be expected to refer the mother to a doctor who is willing. Many GPs have said that they will refuse to do that.

A referendum last May removed the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution. This had forbidden abortions except in extremely limited situations. The referendum result paved the way for the new legislation. What shocked many people was the sight of so many dancing and rejoicing over the result of the referendum, in effect rejoicing at the prospect of unborn children having their lives taken. This celebrating took place mainly at Dublin Castle, the former seat of British administration in Ireland, an administration that persecuted Catholics in Ireland for centuries and that opposed the independence of Ireland. The new persecutors of the Irish are the Irish themselves. 

report last week, showed that the birth rate in Ireland is continuing to fall. Though it's not mentioned there, the birth rate was said to be 1.8 children per woman of childbearing age, the third highest in the European Union but way below the maintenance rate of 2.1 children. In the early 1960s the rate was more than 4.0 children per woman of childbearing age. While the population will continue to rise it will lead to a far higher percentage of elderly people, as has happened in countries such as Japan. In other words, Ireland has now opted for a slow demographic suicide, now to be accelerated by abortion on demand.

I feel utterly sickened by all of this and I feel helpless. (One area where I'm not utterly helpless and can do something is by not voting in the next general election for the three TDs - members of parliament - who represent the area where I live.) I feel a sense of rage also at the corruption of language in the whole campaign of those promoting abortion. The new law has been described as 'care and compassion' and the taking of the life of an unborn human being as a 'service'. Fathers don't enter into the picture at all. They have no rights or responsibilities for their children. This is a 'health service' for women, even though the health of the mother is not an issue at all for early abortions. According to one journalist Ireland has shown itself to be a more enlightened place.

Ireland is no longer a Christian country, though Irish people are still remarkably helpful and generous, as I have experienced on many occasions since I came back to live in Ireland in 2017. 

But when it comes to the basic human rights of unborn children there is a blindness, a blindness that I believe is very deliberate in many cases, particularly in the case of the politicians who have pushed for abortion, of journalists who have campaigned for it and doctors who are willing to take life.

recent article on thecatholicthing.org by David Carlin compares the collapse of the Catholic Christian faith in Quebec a few decades ago with that in Ireland more recently. 

There is something perverse when a country where more than 80 percent of the people in the 2016 census described themselves as Christians and 78.8 percent specifically as Catholics introduces abortion on demand on the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, in the middle of the Christmas Season. There is something almost blasphemous about this.

Pope Francis in Laudato Si' No 120 states (my emphasisadded): Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties?'If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away'.

This paragraph has been largely ignored by many concerned about care for the earth and social justice. The new law in Ireland is anti-care for the earth and a rejection of social justice.

The Irish word gin (hard 'g') means 'begetting' or 'birth'. The Irish word for a procured abortion is ginmhilleadh, which literally means the destruction of what has been begotten, a very accurate term.

Please pray for us in Ireland, especially for women who find themselves in pregnancies that, for whatever reason, are difficult for them and that they and their children will find practical help. Pray too that fathers will stand up for their rights and take full responsibility for their children before and after birth, as St Joseph does for Mary his wife and her unborn child, the Son of God, in the painting below.

The Census at Bethlehem (detail)
Peter Bruegel the Elder [Web Gallery of Art]

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