Abortion should never be considered a viable option in any circumstance, even if the cause of an unplanned pregnancy is rape, according to the chairperson of the Pro-Life Campaign, Cora Sherlock.
The Pro-life campaign held a questions and answers conference with Sherlock in UCD last Monday entitled ‘Stump the Pro-lifer’. Students who attended the event were encouraged to ask challenging questions about the Pro-life campaign.
“No matter how horrendous the crime of rape, we cannot ignore the fact that abortion involves the taking of an innocent unborn life and exposes the woman to emotional hurt and possible long-term psychological harm,” said Sherlock.
She added that she hopes a referendum on repealing the 8th amendment does not go ahead as recommended by the United Nations several months ago, because so many women experience “hurt and regret” after they have an abortion.
Abortion in Ireland is illegal unless it occurs as the result of a medical intervention performed to save the life of the mother.
This law was only introduced in 2013 after the case of Savita Halappanavar sparked controversy in the Irish media. Doctors in Galway University Hospital, denied her request for an abortion as she began suffering from a miscarriage, which ultimately lead to her death.
When asked if she thought that women who have illegal abortions should be punished, Sherlock said she thinks that they should not be, but the doctors who carry out the procedure should face punishment.
“I don’t think women should ever be prosecuted for having abortions. I do think that the abortionist who performs the abortions should be prosecuted,” said said.
“Abortion is very serious. It ends the life of an unborn child so there must be some deterrent in the law.”
The human rights organisation Amnesty International has launched its own campaign named #NotACriminal which is calling on people to sign their petition to legalise abortion in Ireland.
Further information on the Pro-life organisation can be found on their website and also by using their Twitter hashtag #prolife.