Ireland’s Vote to Make Abortion Legal Doesn’t Make Abortion Moral

I was sad to hear that Ireland voted on May 25 to repeal their constitution’s Eighth Amendment and, consequently, legalize abortion during the first trimester. I confess I had almost forgotten that Ireland even had a provision that gave equal value to the life of both the mother and her unborn child. The amendment that was passed back in 1983 reads:

The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.

It’s amazing to me that such an amendment was there because it’s a stark contrast to the liberal abortion provisions here in the United States. Ironically, although the amendment to protect unborn children passed in 1983 by 67% voting “yes” and 33% voting “no,” it was repealed last week by a similar 68% voting “yes” and 32% voting “no.”

There’s one thing we can be sure of, though: Making abortion legal will not make abortion moral. What’s right and wrong is not determined by a vote, and what’s legal is not necessarily what’s moral. The only thing we learned from Ireland’s vote on May 25 was that the majority of Ireland’s people voted to make abortion legal. But it is grotesque and immoral to kill innocent human beings in the womb today, and it always will be.

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Alan Shlemon

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