The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Rt Rev Dr David Bruce, has expressed his “shock” and “deep sadness” at the Department of Health’s first set of figures that show 6,666 abortions were undertaken in Ireland in the first year since the repeal of the Eighth Amendment in 2018.
Commenting on the figures, Dr Bruce said, “Announcing the decision to hold the referendum on the Eighth Amendment, the then Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, stated that ‘abortion in Ireland will become safe, legal and rare’. When you think of an event, or circumstance as being ‘rare’, it brings to mind something that is infrequent, uncommon, or not often found. Like myself, many in Ireland today, Christians and non-Christians alike, will be shocked and deeply saddened to discover, therefore, 6,666 abortions were carried out in Ireland in 2019.
This is more than double those accessed by women from Ireland in the UK throughout 2018.
“For every 10 children born in Ireland in 2019, the life of another unborn child was terminated. On only 3 occasions were abortions carried out where there was an immediate risk to the life of the mother.”
The Moderator continued by saying, “The department’s figures don’t change the fact that all human life remains sacred and special and that the lives of women and unborn children matter profoundly, and are deeply precious to God.
All human life remains sacred and special and that the lives of women and unborn children matter profoundly, and are deeply precious to God.
We recognise the great pain involved in the extremely difficult circumstances faced by women and their families who experience a pregnancy crisis.
“We therefore renew our call for the Government, and wider society, to place a greater focus on the provision of world-leading, compassionate care for women, children and families, including comprehensive support in the perinatal period for those facing pregnancy crisis.”
Last week, Dr Bruce, wrote to congratulate Micheál Martin on his election as Taoiseach. Speaking as one who also came to office in June 2020, Dr Bruce wrote of the “unprecedented fight against Covid-19 and its devastating impact in so many different areas of life” and assured Mr Martin of the church’s support.
Talking about the formation of the coalition government, the Moderator said, ‘For all elected representatives, to know when to compromise is a quality that speaks of humility. Many on this island will not fail to note the significance of the putting aside of past enmities to form this new government, especially as we approach significant anniversaries in the history of the State and the life of the island of Ireland.’
Dr Bruce concluded, “as you begin your first full week as Taoiseach, I am reminded that the call to leadership, especially in the political sphere, is a great honour and a great challenge.
“For those of us who follow the Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to pray for those in authority and you - and the coalition government that you lead – can be assured of my prayers and many in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.”