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Pro-life activists hold a rally outside Leinster House earlier this month. Wanderley Massafelli/Photocall Ireland

Bishop fears X Case legislation will lead to abortion on demand

Leo O’Reilly, Bishop of Kilmore, says some supporters of the proposed abortion bill see it only as “the first stage”.

A CATHOLIC BISHOP has expressed fears that the government’s plans to introduce new laws allowing abortion will eventually led to the provision of abortion services on demand – describing the moves as “the first step on the road to a culture of death”.

Leo O’Reilly, the Bishop of Kilmore – a diocese covering most of Co Cavan, as well as parts of Leitrim, Fermanagh, Sligo and Meath – said supporters of the government’s proposals, announced yesterday, saw the liberalisation of Ireland’s abortion regime as “the first stage”.

“That is what has happened elsewhere, and there is no doubt that will happen there,” O’Reilly told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“There is no more important right than the right to life. Once you say one human life can be directly destroyed, no human life is safe.”

O’Reilly repeated calls from the four Catholic Archbishops for TDs to have a ‘free vote’ on the legislation when it comes before the Dáil next year – saying TDs would be presented with an “unavoidable choice”.

“Will I choose to defend and vindicate the equal rights of mother and the child in her womb, or will I choose to licence the direct and intentional killing of the innocent baby in the mother’s womb? That’s a very very stark decision, but that is what faces our TDs.

“Their consciences should be respected in this regard. They must listen to their consciences, and not be dictated to by political masters in this matter.”

Read: Bishops: X Case law would lead to ‘direct, intentional killing of unborn children’

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