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Irish bishops warn against changes to eighth amendment

The Catholic Church said changes to the Eighth Amendment would 'serve no purpose other than to withdraw the right to life from some categories of unborn children'

CATHOLIC bishops have said changes to the Eighth Amendment would "serve no purpose other than to withdraw the right to life from some categories of unborn children".

During their spring general meeting in Maynooth, Co Kildare, the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference reviewed their pastoral message 'Two Lives, One Love' and yesterday published a revised edition as part of their "contribution to the national conversation on the right to life".

The Eighth Amendment provides for the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn.

The bishops said: "Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution of Ireland has a particular vision which is based on respect for the right to life of every person.

"We believe that the deletion or amendment of this article can have no other effect than to expose unborn children to greater risk and that it would not bring about any benefit for the life or health of women in Ireland.

"We encourage you, therefore, as members of the human family, to work actively towards keeping the right to life in the constitution, in the name of equality, fairness and compassion for all."

The bishops also said "the Catholic Church has never taught that the life of a child in the womb should be preferred to that of a mother".

"By virtue of their common humanity a mother and her unborn baby have an equal right to life," they said.

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