Right to life
Protecting the human right to life for everyone is a core value of our party.
The Human Right to Life
Abortion on demand has been introduced into the south of Ireland. Abortion can be carried out until birth in certain circumstances and for any reason what so ever throughout the first twelve weeks of the unborn child’s life.
Thousands of chemical abortions will happen this year in doctor’s surgeries throughout the state and hundreds of surgical abortions will be carried out in our hospitals. The government is seeking to normalise abortion in Irish society, and in our communities and schools, and like every other country that has introduced such laws the abortion rate will radically increase year on year.
The South of Ireland
In 2016 Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin candidates stood for election on the basis that their parties were prolife. All of these parties reversed their stances once they felt their positions might be damaged by adhering to those principles.
People who are pro-life cannot now in conscience support or canvass for Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour or Sinn Féin, regardless of how deeply entrenched with those parties they once were. To do so would simply give licence to these political parties to not only continue to loosen already liberal abortion laws, but to feel secure in changing their principles on other issues should the next wave of ideology require them to.
As a result many Irish voters are disenfranchised. Aontú has been a natural outcome from this situation, springing as it has from a need of the people to have a party that gives both representation on this issue while also having true equality of opportunity at its core.
The North of Ireland
Sinn Féin’s leaders recently travelled to London to request the British Government to introduce abortion on demand into the north of Ireland. This is unprecedented in Republican history. For hundreds of years Irish Republicans have been telling Westminster to stop legislating for any part of Ireland.
After generations struggling to devolve powers such as this from London to Ireland, Sinn Féin’s leadership have sought to give the democratic power right back to London. This is despite a recent opinion poll in the north of Ireland indicating that the vast majority of women there seek that any such decision should be made by the people of the north of Ireland.
The leadership of the SDLP have recently done a volte-face on the issue of abortion also. Whether this was in preparation for their partnership with a pro-abortion Fianna Fáil it’s hard to tell. What is clear, when leaderships of political parties turn on an issue such as this, hungry and ambitious elected representatives follow quickly behind.
Money for Abortion, But Not Much Else
The current health minister has said that money will be no object with regards the provision of abortion. Yet in the very same hospitals, for example, children will be made to wait often for years for surgery to relieve excruciating pain and immobility. In hospitals across the country lives will be lost due to overcrowding, inadequate facilities and delays in treatment.
Nineteen women gave birth last year while homeless. In today’s Ireland there is not enough money to house a pregnant mother but there is a guarantee of enough money to abort her child in all circumstances.
Now that abortion has been legalised and liberalised, the pressure is reduced on the government to resolve the issues which make many women feel pressured into abortion as their best or only solution. The government will not need to address economic, social, educational, or domestic problems that reduce a woman’s ability to choose to keep her baby even if she so wishes. They have instead made it easier for her to abort and they see that as sufficient provision. Aontú sees the resolving of these issues that pressure women into abortion as a truly holistic solution with women’s health, wellbeing, opportunities and support at the centre of this policy.
Aontú is 100% Pro Life. We seek the Right to Life of everyone irrespective of age, gender, race, creed, abilities or stage of development. We seek a humane and compassionate response to unwanted pregnancies. Aontú will fight for the economic supports necessary so that all parents have the confidence to raise their children to their full potential. We will fight to take mothers out of food, housing and healthcare poverty in all cases.
During the passage of the recent Abortion Bill through the Dáil Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Féin voted against simple amendments that sought to provide some protection for the mother and the unborn child.
They voted against pain relief being provided for the unborn child after 20 weeks gestation being inserted into the bill.
They all voted against medical care for the child if the child survived an abortion seriously injured.
They voted against an amendment to ban abortion in the cases of disability and gender selection.
They voted against full Freedom of Conscience for doctors, nurses, midwives and health care workers.
Most of this debate, the most aggressive the Dáil has seen in decades, went unreported in the media.
Is the Issue Over?
The establishment will seek to tell you that this issue is over. However we can already see efforts by Solidarity/People Before Profit and others to further deregulate abortion law. We see the efforts of Sinn Féin and SDLP (FF) leadership to push abortion in the north of Ireland. The issue is not over for those who seek further liberalisation of abortion, and neither is it over for those who seek to reverse that liberalisation.
Aontú understands the size of this challenge. We know that the political establishment and the media are together in protecting access to abortion. We also understand the necessarily slow cultural and societal change needed to ensure that all human life is innately valued. But this is the human rights debate of our generation and we are committed to this struggle and the time it may take.
Aontú is completely pro-life, and seeks to remove the legalisation of abortion. However given the time this will take, we see essential steps that can be achieved while we make our way back to being a nation that values all its children equally. To that end:
- Aontú opposes change to the law in the north of Ireland.
In the South of Ireland;
- We seek that pain relief is given to unborn children during an abortion carried out after 20 weeks gestation.
- We seek that comfort care and medical care is given to a child that survives an abortion.
- We seek to make it illegal to have an abortion on the basis of the disability or gender selection.
- We will ensure that doctors, nurses and midwives have a real freedom of conscience.
- We will ensure that the abortion regime is not hidden and that a European standard of information is collected by the state.
- We will seek that a mother has the choice of an Ultra Sound in advance of deciding whether or not to have an abortion
Aontú is the only All Ireland party with a prolife commitment. All Aontú elected reps will be tasked with protecting the law as it stands in the north of Ireland and opposing the extreme legislation in the south of Ireland.