In recent months Ireland has experienced the traumatic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has touched every sector of society.  While many people have suffered emotionally and economically, we think immediately of those who have died, 1,735 people as of 30 June.  Each one was a unique human being, created in the image of God, and each one’s death is being grieved by a family, a friend, a community.

Every human life is worthy of respect and care from the moment of conception to natural death.  The enormous contrast between the collective grief of the nation at the recent deaths of so many people, and the bland five page report from the Department of Health, published on the same day, 30 June, which details the 6,666 – six thousand six hundred and sixty six – “Terminations of Pregnancy”, which took place in Ireland in 2019, is staggering.

The report states that 24 of the abortions were carried out on medical grounds.  Those carried out on the grounds of a “condition that was likely to lead to the death of the foetus” numbered 100.  The Irish Catholic Bishops pointed out in advance of the referendum in 2018 that there is absolutely no moral justification for deciding that a baby should die because he or she has a serious health condition.

read the Statement by the Bishops’ Council for Life regarding the Report of the Department of Health on “Termination of Pregnancy” in 2019