Prioritise right to life, voters urged

Prioritise right to life, voters urged

Voters have been urged to prioritise the right to life of unborn children as they go the polls to elect a new Government next week.

Bishop Kevin Doran told The Irish Catholic that the right to life was “the fundamental human right” and insisted the extent to which it is protected “is a measure of the decency of society”.

“Voters need to impress upon politicians the importance of supporting and promoting a culture of life that recognises the unique value of every human person and we need to actively support those who do.

“I personally find it very difficult to understand how in good conscience any Catholic could vote for a candidate or a party whose policy it is to legalise abortion,” the Bishop of Elphin said.

Dr Doran warned that “we have already seen in recent years the introduction of abortion under certain circumstances and now we are hearing talk about the removal of the protection of the right to life of the unborn from the Constitution”.


He also claimed that the issue of children diagnosed with a life-limiting condition in the womb was “being used to build an argument for introducing abortion”, and warned that “a lot of the information that is being put out there about life-limiting conditions is actually factually inaccurate and misleading”.

“Some babies who are seriously ill only live for a very short time, while others live significantly longer. For a Christian, however, there is no such thing as a life without value. For as long as they live, children with life-limiting conditions are entitled to be loved and cared for like any other child and their parents are entitled to the support of proper peri-natal hospice services,” Dr Doran said.

Archbishop Michael Neary insisted that the “unique value placed on each human life from the moment of conception to natural death” was of “critical importance” in society and warned that if life “is not fully respected and protected then the very basis of our society is weakened”.

Noting that the Eight (life equality) Amendment “guarantees the right to life of the unborn and the equal right to life of the mother”, the Archbishop of Tuam said it was regrettable that “some of those standing for election have declared their intention to work to remove this protection from our Constitution and laws”.

“This simplistic approach to the most significant of issues is not only an outright attack on the unborn, but an affront to the charter of human rights enshrined in Ireland’s basic law.


“Being pro-life in contemporary Ireland means, more and more, being counter-culture, being radical.

“At this time we have a crucial responsibility to our future generations. Permitting abortion in difficult cases is like pulling a loose thread in a garment. There may be no definitive point at which the unraveling can be stopped,” he said.

Bishop Doran said it was important to note that those who hold public office and who exercise that office with integrity, “provide a very significant service to the common good”.

“There will be some candidates with whose policies we might vehemently disagree and for whom we might never consider voting, but while asking them the hard questions, we treat them with respect, because that is what Christians do,” he said.

Bishop Kevin Doran’s six questions to ask politicians

  • How will you protect human life from the moment of conception until its natural end?
  • How will you support families who are struggling? 
  • How will you ensure that all citizens are treated fairly when it comes to healthcare?
  • How will you contribute to resolving the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East?
  • How will you respond to the urgent needs of those who are currently homeless and prevent further homelessness in the future?
  • How will you support faith-based groups in continuing to make their contribution to society, while protecting their ethos and identity? 

The Pro-Life Campaign have on their website compiled a list of all General Election candidates and their stance on abortion. It can be viewed at: