A committee of the Republic of Ireland Parliament has recommended the repeal of the country’s constitutional protection for unborn children.
The Eighth Amendment pledges to “defend and vindicate” the equal right to life of the unborn and the mother, “as far as practicable”.
But members of the cross-party parliamentary committee voted yesterday to back the liberalisation of abortion.
A referendum is to be held on the issue next year.
However, the committee voted by 14 votes to 6 in favour of a repeal of the constitutional amendment and voted to make abortion available on demand up to twelve weeks.
Speaking for pro-life group the Life Institute, Niamh Uí Bhriain said the committee was “rigged to push abortion from the beginning”.
“They went into this process determined to repeal the right-to-life of preborn babies and their vote today is shocking but entirely unsurprising”, she added.
Last month, a leading medical expert declined to appear before the committee, describing it as a “charade”. Dr Martin McCaffey, a Professor of Paediatrics in the University of North Carolina, said it showed a bias that resembled a “kangaroo court”.
Speaking in Dublin, British Peer Lord Alton of Liverpool called on the Republic of Ireland to reject the implementation of British-style abortion laws.
Lord Alton said the 1967 Abortion Act that was enacted in Great Britain was only supposed to be used in the most extreme cases.
He said Ireland ‘needs to learn’ from that law, which has led to nearly 9 million abortions in Britain since the Act came into force. He added that this was almost twice the current population of Ireland.