A motion to repeal the 8th Amendment has been defeated by a significant majority at a debate hosted by UCC's Philosophical Society, the university's debating society. Around 120 students attended the debate in one of the country’s largest universities G19 on February 27th where speakers from Youth Defence and the Life Institute argued against the repeal of the 8th amendment. The pro-abortion motion was defeated easily with some 70% of those voting deciding against repealing the 8th.
The winning team of Rebecca Kealy and Marie Lynch concentrated on the human rights of the preborn child, and the reality of abortion for both mother and baby. They challenged the language of “fatal foetal abnormality” as dehumanising and dealt with the consequences of abortion for medicine. Rebecca challenged the poor science and bad embryology that refers to the unborn as “a clump of cells”.
Ms Kealy, a UCC Masters graduate of Chemistry and a Tyndall scholar, described the abortion procedure to the audience, revealing the grim reality behind the ‘repeal’ slogan – the killing of unborn babies. “We talk about abortion but we don’t really think about what it really is, so I’m going to talk you through some abortion procedures, briefly,” she said, before going on to describe abortion in the first to third trimesters. When describing partial birth abortion Ms Kealy told them they might find it difficult to imagine that such a horrendous procedure exists so she read a witness account of a nurse who was present at a partial birth abortion in America.
She also challenged the view that men should be silent on the abortion issue, and urged men to speak up to protect vulnerable women and helpless preborn babies. “This is not a woman’s issue, it’s a human rights issue,” she said. “Everyone should speak up to protect human rights.” Marie Lynch for the Life Institute said that she was very supportive of women’s rights, including the preborn woman in the womb. She talked about being on the canvass one evening and meeting a woman of 70 who had become pregnant when she was 18, and who said if abortion had been her daughter might never have been born.
She then she went into her house and bought out a picture of her daughter with her own son and his children. The woman said that because her daughter had been protected, her grandson had also got the chance to experience life and have a wife and make a family of his own. “You don’t just end one life but cut off an entire generation,” Marie pointed out.
She also described the beautiful humanity of the baby in the womb. In contrast, pro-abortion speakers described the baby as a ‘parasite’ which did not go down very well with the audience. In the QnA that followed the speakers on the motion were asked if there was anything they could agree on. Ms Kealy said that “we all want what’s best for women, but abortion campaigners think it’s abortion, but we know that it is long term support and compassion. Killing an unborn child should not be the answer to any problem or crisis.”
The pro-abortion motion was defeated handily by a 70:30 margin. Marie Lynch said that the vote “is a great sign of hope for this beautiful country”, pointing out that the media were incorrect to assume students are pro-abortion.
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