Protecting Life at all Stages
In June and July 2003 the Mother and Child Campaign, in response to the Government’s Committee on Assisted Human Reproduction, launched their Early Human Life and Ethical Issues Campaign. The Campaign consisted of Press and Media interviews, an explanatory booklet explaining the issues surrounding early human life and a summarised leaflet for general distribution. There was also a lecture tour which held meetings around the country.
The Mother & Child Campaign have put the finishing touches on our new campaign, which aims to safeguard life at all stages of development, even from the very moment of conception.
Right now the Government Committee on Assisted Human Reproduction are deliberating over the findings made since their inception in 2001. Part of their conclusions may be drawn from the conference which they held this past February at Dublin Castle. It would be a tragedy for Early Human Life if all that is taken into account is the evidence provided by the blatantly anti-life speakers at this conference. As an indication of what the Committee have to consider from the speakers at their conference, you will recall that Baroness Warnock stated: “You cannot respectfully pour something down the sink - which is the fate of the embryo after it has been used for research, or for anything else.”
This unfortunate and extreme utilitarian view of Early Human Life - as something to be used and discarded - was in full display during the Committee's conference. As concerned citizens, who believe that Early Human Life should be afforded the same dignity and respect as life at all stages of development, we need to intelligently express our opinion to the Committee so that they may recognise the truth of our arguments. And we need to let them know that the people must be listened to. In short, we must gird ourselves for a short but intense effort to inform the public about the issues being tabled by the Committee.
In order to educate ourselves and the public on the issues, the M&C Campaign have planned a country-wide tour of information meetings beginning in the second week of June. We have written and produced a booklet detailing all of the issues and all of the ethical alternatives. And we have also produced a leaflet for wide-scale distribution around the country.
This is a critical moment for the child embryo in Ireland. The issues of human cloning, experimentation on human embryos, and IVF all come under the heading Assisted Human Reproduction. The decisions of the Committee therefore will have wide-ranging effect. We need to help ensure that Early Human Life and its development continues to be seen as something of great value in itself and as such, protected in our laws.