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DUBLIN (ChurchMilitant.com) - Hours before Irish voters cast their ballot in Ireland's abortion referendum Friday, pro-lifers are exposing the "extreme" measure that would decriminalize the murder of an unborn child for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Of the six referendums on abortion since 1983, the May 25 abortion referendum is the most important. The Eighth Amendment — the constitutional provision protecting the right to life for the unborn — was passed that same year with 67 percent approval.
The Save the Eighth Campaign is one of 62 local groups that worked across Ireland to train 1,000 volunteers to protect the lives of the most vulnerable ahead of the referendum.
"Under the proposal, you can have an abortion for any reason at all in the first 12 weeks of a baby's life," Niamh Uí Bhriain, a spokesman for the campaign, said
. "You can then have an abortion on undefined mental health grounds right up to six months. There is no need to speculate about what the Government might bring in. It's written in the Bill in black and white. It's an incredibly liberal bill."
Katie Ascough, a spokesman for the Love Both campaign, insisted
, "I'm confident that the Irish people will reject this extreme proposal, and force the government to come up with a better plan than abortion for healthy mothers with healthy babies in Ireland."
Vicky Wall, whose daughter Líadán died in the womb at 32 weeks, argued that the Eighth Amendment protected her right as a mother to not terminate her pregnancy.
"I don't think a human life should be simply ... down to being unwanted or not[,] and yes it's much so difficult for women in those positions. I talk about support[,] and that but the bottom line is I am extremely pro-life," she commented.
This comes as a Monday Sky Data poll
shows 47 percent of those surveyed support legalizing abortion through the first trimester of pregnancy while those against abortion number 37 percent and 11 percent remain undecided.
And a recent Times/Ipsos MRBI
survey revealed that among pro-abortionists, approval is conditional with 30 percent saying Ireland's abortion referendum goes "too far" with unrestricted access in the first 12 weeks.
On the other side of the aisle, pro-abortion and pro-gay Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland has declared the vote is a "once in a generation' opportunity to "end Ireland's legacy of shame."
"If there is a Yes vote Ireland will be the same place, just a place that's a little bit more compassionate and a little bit more understanding than it has been in the past," emphasized Varadkar.
But David Quinn of the orthodox Catholic advocacy group Iona Institute declared the pro-lifers have a fighting chance, saying, "Remember: Brexit wasn't supposed to pass, and Donald Trump wasn't supposed to get elected."
More than 3.2 million people are registered to vote in Friday's referendum with many traveling home to Ireland to cast their ballots. Many are using the hashtag #HomeToVote
, the leader of Sky Data, observed that among self-identified Catholics, abortion supporters comprise a majority:
Catholics are split on the subject, with 45 percent supporting abortion up to 12 weeks and 40 percent opposed, contrasting with 69 percent support and 26 percent opposition amongst those with no religion. And Catholics are the most likely to be undecided — 15 percent answering don't know or preferring not to say, against 5 percent of those with no religion.
Father Ruairí O'Domhnaill of Kildare and Leighlin questioned any Catholic "who consider[s] voting yes [to repeal the eighth] that they need to seriously ask themselves what they believe."
"The heart of our Christian faith is that God took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary and that he took on the human condition," remarked O'Domhnaill. "That he was a living human being in the womb of Mary and it's fairly hard for anyone who would say that if they believed that to then say they didn't believe that he didn't have a right to be born."
And several Irish bishops issued pastoral letters last month, urging voters to defend the unborn, including Bp. John Buckley of Cork and Ross, Bp. Alan McGuckian of Raphoe and Bp. Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin.
"We will never again have a more important vote," Bukley said. "There is no cause more noble than to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Never before in history have we had so much scientific proof that the unborn baby is, in fact, a living, breathing human being."
Nulty explained that once we deprive the unborn of the right to life, "we can no longer defend ourselves from what flows from an abortion culture," which "fundamentally alters our attitude towards disability."
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