Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has added Canadian weight to the increasing international pressure on Ireland to rethink their constitutional ban on abortion, a ban codified in Ireland’s 8th amendment. In meetings this month with Irish leader Leo Varadkar, Varadkar informed Trudeau that he plans to hold a referendum in Ireland next year which may result in repealing the 8th amendment.
In the discussion on abortion, Trudeau went with his standard “reproductive rights are women’s rights” and “women’s rights are human rights” taglines. This line of reasoning, unfortunately, sets up an impossible situation. Women’s rights are human rights, absolutely! The right to life, liberty, security of the person – all good, important things. But that right to life means that all the women’s rights in the world cannot include abortion. Abortion takes a life. One right to life does not trump another, and reproductive rights have to mean something other than abortion.
There remains strong support for strict restrictions on abortion in Ireland, an example we should be following, not criticizing. We can pray that the results of the referendum will cement the culture of life Ireland has maintained for so long, and that the value of life will still be recognized from its earliest stages. Until then, though, the country has become a target for abortion activists, and our Prime Minister has added Canada’s voice to the side of death.