Changing Ireland: referendum on abortion
Ireland's government has announced that it will hold a referendum on legalising abortions in the spring. The strongly Catholic country still has one of the most stringent abortion bans in the EU, even if it was eased for the first time in 2014. While attitudes in Irish society are apparently changing, Maltese journalists have a very different opinion.
High time to lift the ban
A majority of the Irish population will vote for the constitutional reform, The Irish Times is convinced:
“The Eighth Amendment, which bans abortion in all but the most limited circumstances, no longer reflects the views of the Irish people. That has been clear from opinion polls that consistently show a public desire for change, and it has been clear from the steady flow of women leaving the State each year for a procedure they are denied at home. The so-called 'pro-life amendment' did not stop abortion; it merely decreed that it should happen elsewhere.”
Protect unborn life
Malta is the only EU country that bans abortion in all cases. With good reason, guest commentator Philip Said writes in the Times of Malta:
“There is irrefutable scientific evidence that the human embryo satisfies the four fundamental criteria of biological life - metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction - criteria of a higher order of organisation than the mere activities of cellular life. ... There seems to be a general consensus, practical knowledge and good sense among the Maltese population that even natural law itself detests to see the destruction of the beginnings of biological life generally, let alone if this is a human life at its most fragile moment and completely dependent on others.”