Church of Ireland Opposes 12-Week Abortion Plan


The Church of Ireland’s archbishops have said they cannot accept the government’s plan to allow unrestricted abortion during the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy. This means that the four main Christian churches in Ireland are all opposed to the recommendation of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment.


The Catholic Church has expressed “vehement opposition” to abortion in all circumstances while the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, as expressed by former moderators Rev Drs Trevor Morrow and Norman Hamilton last month, was “very gravely concerned” about the Committee proposal “to introduce abortion with no restriction as to reason until the twelfth week of gestation, and beyond 12 weeks on health grounds”.


The Methodist Church in Ireland stated last month that “our opposition to abortion on demand includes this first trimester”. The church has “consistently been against abortion on demand,” it said.


The Church of Ireland primate Archbishop Richard Clarke and Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson said they favour “modification” of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution. “However, unrestricted access to abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, or indeed at any stage, is not an ethical position we can accept.”


Current legislation should be strengthened to ensure the needs of pregnant women facing difficult situations can be addressed quickly and comprehensively through improved support services, they said.

The Irish Times. February 5.

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