The Sligo Champion - - FRONT PAGE - Maura McCaughey is pic­tured be­low.

THOSE push­ing a “yes” vote in the abor­tion ref­er­en­dum are happy to talk about any­thing and every­thing ex­cept what a “yes” vote will lead to.

They will talk about Face­book ads, and about ref­er­en­dum posters, and about “com­pas­sion”. But they won’t talk about the pro­posed abor­tion law that the ref­er­en­dum is de­signed to al­low.

There’s good rea­son for their re­luc­tance. The pro­posed law is hor­rific. It al­lows for com­pletely un­re­stricted abor­tion through­out the first 12 weeks of preg­nancy.

This is even more un­re­stricted than in Britain, where 92% of the 185,000 abor­tions a year take place in the first 12 weeks. The law goes fur­ther though. It al­lows for broadly ac­ces­si­ble abor­tion up to 24 weeks in preg­nancy, and even abor­tion up to birth.

It’s in­cred­i­ble to think that the Gov­ern­ment has put this pro­posal for­ward. But this is its ac­tual pro­posal. It has been pub­lished and it’s avail­able for ev­ery­one to see.

Be­cause it’s so ex­treme Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ters and abor­tion cam­paign­ers are try­ing to mis­rep­re­sent it. They are try­ing to claim that af­ter 12 weeks abor­tion will be re­stric­tive. But the pro­posed law al­lows abor­tion past 12 weeks on the grounds of “men­tal health”. This is the same ground that ac­counts for 98% of all Bri­tish abor­tions.

One baby is aborted in Britain for every four that are born. 90% of chil­dren di­ag­nosed with Down syn­drome in Britain are aborted. That’s the sort of “health­care” sys­tem a passed ref­er­en­dum will lead to.

This ref­er­en­dum is not about the hard cases. The Gov­ern­ment could have had that type of ref­er­en­dum but it chose in­stead a ref­er­en­dum on abor­tion on de­mand.

Its pro­posal is that we com­pletely delete all trace of un­born chil­dren’s right to life, right through­out preg­nancy.

If we pass this ref­er­en­dum we will be the first coun­try in the world to take a right out of its con­sti­tu­tion.

The ref­er­en­dum needs to be this rad­i­cal in or­der to al­low the ex­treme abor­tion law the Gov­ern­ment wants to pass.

There’s ab­so­lutely no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for what the Gov­ern­ment is propos­ing. Abor­tion is not health­care. With­out abor­tion Ire­land ranks as the sixth safest coun­try in the world for women to give birth in. Even “yes” cam­paign­ers ac­knowl­edge that we have an out­stand­ing track record in this re­gard.

The 8th Amend­ment, which pro­tects the right to life of un­born ba­bies, has helped saved thou­sands of lives in this coun­try.

We have shown that it is pos­si­ble to care for both moth­ers and ba­bies. What’s wrong with pro­tect­ing both?

Ul­ti­mately abor­tion cam­paign­ers try to deny the hu­man­ity of ba­bies in the womb. But by 10 weeks an un­born child al­ready has a beat­ing heart, a de­vel­op­ing brain, a mouth, eyes, and fin­ger­prints. She de­serves at least some rights. But she won’t have any if the ref­er­en­dum passes.

For au­then­tic com­pas­sion and gen­uine care, we must vote “No” to the Gov­ern­ment’s ex­treme pro­pos­als. Some­times “no” is the most pos­i­tive thing to say.

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