The Fine Gael party promised voters they would not legalise abortion. They broke that promise. The pro-life movement gave a commitment not to sit back and accept the new law. The National Vigil for Life on 3rd May is a clear sign that we will not be breaking our promise.
The Government would love us to lie low and ignore the grave injustice of the new abortion law, leaving the way open for them to pull the wool over people’s eyes going into the Local and European elections in May, with political stunts pretending they are pro-life. We are not going to allow this to happen.
Fine Gael might know full well there are a lot of people out there who are disgusted with them for introducing abortion and for misleading the public that it was a life-saving measure. I wouldn’t want to exaggerate these numbers, however, because in truth most people don’t yet realise what the law allows and the manner in which it was passed. This is one of our main challenges going forward.
Our Prime Minister only last week invited Pope Francis to Ireland. Anyone who thinks the Taoiseach’s invitation to invite Pope Francis was unaffected by political motives would be naïve. Many people will see in this invitation an attempt by the Taoiseach to neutralise public disquiet about Fine Gael’s role in bringing in abortion.
Of course we understand that a Papal visit is about much more than just values issues so the Taoiseach would obviously have had wider considerations in mind when inviting the Pope. It is also true that the pro-life movement includes people of all faiths and none but the Taoiseach is long enough in the game to know that there could be some political dividend in asking the Pope to visit. There is no getting away from the fact that the timing of this move by the Taoiseach on the eve of elections has politicised the invitation. Given the seriousness of what happened last year, it would remiss not to draw attention to this.
The vigil on 3rd May is an opportunity to send a strong message to the Government that, far from losing heart, we are more committed than ever. The purpose of the vigil is more than just showing a strong pro-life presence. It is also about challenging the political promise-breaking and groupthink in media and politics that led to the new abortion law. This is a hugely important feature of the debate that cannot be ignored any longer.
The Government introduced abortion based on a threat of suicide in the full knowledge that there is no evidence it is a treatment for suicidal feelings. They even refused an amendment that would provide pain relief for an unborn baby during late-term abortions. It is actually revolting when you think about it.
But the pro-life battle is far from lost. The Government is acutely aware that we can turn things around provided we stay focused and show resolve. This is a moment in our history when we must join together and persevere for what is right. We have an opportunity to do just that on 3rd May by attending the National Vigil for Life in Dublin and encouraging family, friends and neighbours to do likewise.
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