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Ireland: abortion referendum. Mgr. O’Reilly (Kilmore), “horrified” by the idea of taking a child’s life

In response to those who say that it is necessary to protect the mother, the bishop recalled the Church’s teaching according to which “where a seriously ill pregnant woman needs medical treatment which may put the life of her baby at risk, such treatments are always ethically permissible, provided every effort has been made to save the life of both the mother and her baby”. In the case of an unborn child who is seriously ill, he wrote: “If we ask ourselves what we would do in these situations a month after the birth, instead of a month before, we would be horrified at the suggestion that taking the child’s life was an option”. The bishop reminded those who refer to the child in the womb as a “foetus”, not a “baby”, to hide the fact that it is fully human, of the stories that appeared in the British press when Kate Middleton, the wife of Prince William, was pregnant with her third child. “Even though she was only ten weeks pregnant, nobody spoke about a foetus”. The bishop concluded with an encouragement: we should not be intimidated by the fact that “those who oppose the taking of human life in the womb will be portrayed as extremists, absolutists and religious fanatics”. Indeed, “this is not just a Church issue”, “it’s an ethical issue and a human rights issue. Every human being has an equal right to life”, and biology “tells us that life in the womb begins at conception”; “it is not a potential human life, but a human life with potential”.

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