Irish pro-life group decries Eight Amendment repeal as 'tragedy of historic proportions'

Women celebrate the result of the referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018. | Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

A pro-life group that campaigned to preserve Ireland's Eight Amendment has described the landslide vote to repeal the measure that bans abortions in the country as a "tragedy of historic proportions."

On Friday, 66.4 percent of Irish voters had cast their ballots in favor of repealing the Amendment, which guaranteed the equal rights of the mother as well as the unborn baby in the womb. Only 33.6 percent had opposed the repeal of the country's abortion law, according to The Christian Institute.

The vote will allow lawmakers to introduce a law that would legalize abortions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Save the 8th, a group that campaigned against the repeal of the amendment, has expressed disappointment with the results.

"The 8th amendment did not create a right to life for the unborn child – it merely acknowledged that such a right exists, has always existed, and will always exist," the group stated on Saturday, according to Life Site News.

"What Irish voters did yesterday is a tragedy of historic proportions. However, a wrong does not become right simply because a majority support it," the group continued.

The organization has vowed to oppose the Irish government's efforts to introduce a legislation that would legalize abortion. It further stated that it would also oppose the opening of abortion clinics in the country.

"Abortion was wrong yesterday. It remains wrong today. The constitution has changed, but the facts have not," the group contended, as reported by The Christian Institute.

Another pro-life group called LoveBoth has expressed fears that the vote will lead to "an abortion regime which has nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with abortion on demand."

Dr. Ruth Cullen who worked with LoveBoth's pro-life campaign vowed to hold Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to his word that the repeal would only allow abortions in "very limited circumstances."

She asserted that many people have voted in favor of the repeal based on the prime minister's promise.

Under current law, abortion is only allowed in Ireland in cases when the mother's life is at risk.

In 2012, a woman named Savita Halappanavar, who was 17-weeks-old pregnant, had died of blood poisoning at Galway University Hospital. The 31-year-old woman's death had prompted pro-choice activists to push for a repeal of the Ireland's ban on abortions, even though she would have been allowed to obtain the procedure under the current law if doctors had been aware about her condition.

Life Site News noted that an investigation into her death by the Health Information and Quality Authority had revealed that doctors had missed 13 opportunities to save Halappanavar's life.

Irish voters had been asked to vote on the repeal of the Eight Amendment in the past, but all attempts failed. According to Life Site News, a referendum was held in 1983, three were conducted in 1992 and another one was carried out in 2002.