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AUL and the Irish Fight for Life

Over the past 10 days, William (Bill) L. Saunders, J.D., Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs & Senior Counsel for Americans United for Life was in Ireland as the Irish parliament considered a bill to legalize abortion in certain circumstances. Though the largest protest march in Irish history (60,000 attended) was held against the bill, it passed the lower house, and is poised to pass the upper house by Tuesday of next week (July 23). Since Ireland is one of the few pro-life countries in Europe, passage of the bill would be significant.

Bill’s Photos from the March

Bill’s Articles Reporting from the March

World Congress of Families Newsletter: AUL Opposes New Abortion Law in Ireland

August 2013
William J. Saunders, Senior Counsel for Americans United for Life (a World Congress of Families Partner) wrote on National Review Online on July 8: “This weekend, I stood at one of the largest rallies in Irish history. More than 50,000 people gathered to demand the government withdraw its bill legalizing abortion.”

National Review Online: Life in Ireland

July 16, 2013
I was in Ireland for the past week or so as the Irish government, composed of Labor and Fine Gael, pushed forward a bill to legalize abortion in certain circumstances.

The government was able to pass the bill in the lower house of parliament last week. The calls for a free vote, allowing members to vote in accordance with their consciences, were refused by the government.

After allowing the debate to continue for a day longer than originally announced, Fine Gael held most of its members to vote for the bill. Those who did not are now likely to be forced out of the party. This includes Lucinda Creighton, a dynamic leader whose heroic stand I noted last week… [Continue Reading]

National Review Online: A Woman of Conscience

July 10, 2013

Dublin – Later today, the lower house of parliament will hold key votes on the abortion bill. The first round of votes will be on amendments to the pending bill. Then there will a vote on the final bill.

The text of amendments haven’t been made public. But everyone is confident about the essence of one of the amendments since it has been widely reported in the press. It will be offered by Lucinda Creighton, a member of the lead party in the government, Fine Gael. The current bill provides that a pregnant woman threatening suicide may obtain an abortion. Creighton’s amendment would provide that a woman who is threatening suicide be provided with all the psychiatric therapy and treatment necessary. In other words, threats of suicide are evidence of a psychological disorder. Her amendment is in accord with the evidence from extensive hearings in Ireland in January — abortion is not an appropriate or effective treatment for suicide feelings; in fact, abortion can often contribute to suicide “ideation.”

If Creighton’s amendment isn’t accepted, it appears certain she will vote against the bill. Doing so will cost her the portfolio she has in the government as minister for European Affairs… [Continue Reading]

National Review Online: Demanding Life in Ireland

July 8, 2013
Dublin — This weekend, I stood at one of the largest rallies in Irish history. More than 50,000 people gathered to demand the government withdraw its bill legalizing abortion.

The crowd included people of every age, from toddlers to the elderly, of both sexes, handicapped and not. They were joyously pro-life but steely determined to defend the innocent. They were here to stop the government from forcing through a pro-abortion law.

This bill is supposedly “required” by the European Court of Human Rights’s decision in ABC vs. Ireland two years ago. The lead party in the government, Fine Gael, campaigned in the last election on a promise not to legalize abortion. It is abandoning that commitment now, and the Irish people are expressing their outrage… [Continue Reading]