Ireland Legalizes Abortion; Law Will Lead to Its Increase, Vatican Official Says

Formerly pro-life nation makes anti-life decision.

Msgr. Jacques Suaudeau
Msgr. Jacques Suaudeau (photo: CNA/Lauren Cater)

ROME — A scientist from the Pontifical Academy for Life says Ireland’s new abortion law will result in an increased number of children being aborted, especially because it does not involve enough doctors in the decision-making process.

Ireland voted today to legalize abortion in cases where there is "a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother, including the threat of suicide." 

“I would have liked to have had this law with a motion of at least three doctors, even in an emergency,” Msgr. Jacques Suaudeau of France said July 12.

“We are not in Tamanrasset [Algeria] or in Fulsara [India]. We are in Ireland, so you could have three doctors. And at three you make the right judgment,” he remarked.

In his view, if the Irish politicians had passed the law with a clause that required three doctors to decide if a mother's life is really at risk, it “would have put the brakes on the abortion industry.”

Msgr. Suaudeau affirmed “people who brought this law into Ireland are liberals and want to go further; this is just the beginning.”

“This law has to be carefully limited and not used as a door to open up more and more abortion,” he told Catholic News Agency in a July 12 interview at the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Ireland passed a law making abortion legal in the country for the first time in its history following debate after an Indian woman who was refused an abortion died because doctor’s failed to detect an E. coli infection.

Abortion advocates seized on the case as an opportunity to legalize abortion and were met with a strong pro-life stand against their efforts.

“You can consider this [law] as a first step,” Msgr. Suaudeau said. “I come from a country that has abortion, and the consequences are not so beautiful.”

“Nothing is going to diminish [abortions]; it just rises and rises,” he said.

Msgr. Suaudeau, who studied gynecology and obstetrics, also addressed the medical aspects of cases where a mother’s life might be in danger.

“More often than not, you can control diseases, and if you have a threatening condition, you can induce the baby to be born prematurely,” he explained.

“In extreme cases,” he noted, it is a question of a team, because gynecologists are never left alone to make important decisions.

“I have a feeling that these decisions will now be left for one person,” Msgr. Suaudeau stated.

The law, which passed with a margin of 127 to 31 after a two-day marathon debate, states abortion is legal if the mother's life is at risk or if she is at risk of committing suicide.

Msgr. Suaudeau believes the new law could increase demands from people who want to abort their children for increasingly frivolous reasons, such as “simply because they want to go on vacation.”

“I was expecting this decision [to allow abortion in Ireland],” he said. “We have all these abortion numbers growing in Europe, and Ireland was an exception, like Malta.”

“Before abortion was passed in France, we still had 1,000 abortions a year, and, of course, there were infections, but they were dealt with,” Msgr. Suaudeau noted. The number of children who are aborted in France is now around 200,000 per year.

“So when it becomes law, the numbers increase. You can't negate it and say you can control it.”

He also blamed the lack of education for an increase in abortion.

“If you are in a country like France with a lot of abortion, it is because teenagers have not been educated,” said Msgr. Suaudeau, who has been working as the Vatican pro-life academy's scientific director for around 10 years.

“Nothing has been said, so they have been left to their own will,” he said. “Abortion is a bad thing, and people who are pro-choice recognize that; they just say it's a question of freedom.”

But Msgr. Suaudeau asserted that young people should be educated “in sexual life and in what the price of life is.”

He also challenged the prevalent mentality in the health-care industry that advocates more contraceptives instead of encouraging different sexual behavior.

“We know that the more contraception there is, the more abortion rises,” he stated.

“It's like euthanasia; you start with a little bit, and then it grows and grows because it becomes a facility,” he added. “People are losing their sense of life; that is a big danger.”

He added that “if you want to fight abortion, you have to value babies.”

“Teenagers have to realize that the sexual act is serious, and if you get pregnant, you are responsible,” Msgr. Suaudeau said. “It's about an education on realizing the value of life and the value of a baby, not on prohibition.”

The Academy for Life official believes that Christians should try to solve the issue of teen pregnancy by teaching more young people using a type of sexual education that is focused on “showing the price of love, not on avoiding pregnancy.”

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