Added on 20/12/2012
From the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson:
The Church of Ireland welcomes the fact that the Government of the Republic of Ireland has taken the decision to bring clarity to bear on the issue of abortion under certain circumstances. This is a matter of almost indescribable complexity – both human and medical. We fully recognize that any decision which, in respect of a woman’s health, results in a termination is a terribly weighty one. Our hope would also be that appropriate clarity will facilitate those who are practitioners in the field, namely nurses, doctors and others, as well as parents.
The Church of Ireland has recently re–stated in public that it stands with the notion of ‘real and substantial risk’ to the life of the mother in making decisions on terminations of pregnancies. Our statement flows from the Report of the Lambeth Conference 1958 which uses the similar phrase: ‘strict and undeniable medical necessity,’ as follows: ‘In the strongest terms, Christians reject the practice of induced abortion or infanticide, which involves the killing of a life already conceived (as well as a violation of the personality of the mother) save at the dictate of strict and undeniable medical necessity.’
In our opinion the measure of the legislation will be in how the assessment of ‘real and substantial risk’ is handled, not least in the context of suicide. We look forward to contributing our perspective during the period of consultation. We further feel that authoritative guidance on this subject is urgently needed.
Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin
For further information please contact:
Diocesan Communications Officer
Dublin & Glendalough