Prior to the election, Fine Gael had pledged to uphold the nation’s pro-life protections: “Fine Gael is opposed to the legalisation of abortion” and “Fine Gael is opposed to research conducted on human embryos, and favours alternative stem cell research that does not involve human embryos such as adult stem cell and umbilical cord research.”
Led by the Pro-Life Campaign and the Ireland United for Life coalition, pro-life groups worked hard to secure pro-life pledges prior to the election. They were concerned about the impact of the recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights in the ABC vs. Ireland case, which challenged Ireland’s law prohibiting access to abortion:
That decision, while maintaining the right of the Irish people to determine sovereign laws on abortion, also ruled falsely that the Irish Constitution recognizes a “right to abortion” for life of the mother.
After this ruling, Ireland’s Labour Party declared that it would “legislate in accordance with the Supreme Court judgment in the X case and the recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.”
But now Fine Gael is in the majority. Although it is yet to be determined what the composition of the new government will be, pro-life groups consider the results of the election a victory.