Ireland’s cabinet offered a proposal today that would legalize abortion in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, including from suicide. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny says they system will not lead to “abortion on demand”:
“[Suicide] is an issue that is very subjective,” said Mr Kenny. “In my view [it] requires far more requirements and conditions made by a panel of qualified psychiatrists, obstetricians and administrative GPs. So it is a case really of introducing restrictions and regulation that provide clarification here.
Pro-life groups see the suicide measure as directly opposed to an ethic of life:
“This is where the whole issue of suicide comes into it, because a woman who says she’s suicidal because of being pregnant with this baby, what she’s saying is she doesn’t want a living baby at the end of this procedure,” Dr Kiely [of Ireland's Pro Life Campaign] said.
“You’re actually, in that situation, proposing to directly and intentionally ensure the death of her baby. That’s a very radical change for medical practice in Ireland, for our legal system, for whatever.”
A suicide provision would also seem to open up a backdoor to considerations of psychological health that could justify almost any abortion procedure.