The following Statement has been published by leaders of Irish Baptist Churches in the Republic of Ireland, regarding the forthcoming Abortion Referendum:

 

Compassion for Women and Unborn Children

A statement released by Baptist church leaders in Ireland calls for compassion for both women and unborn children rather than repealing the 8th Amendment. “We hold that all human life is precious. The ultimate foundation of this is the Bible’s teaching that we are made in “the image of God” (Genesis 1:27). That gives every human being immense dignity, worth, value and meaning, regardless of size, shape, gender, ability or colour. God’s word and science agree that life begins at conception (Psalm 51:5). Any drawing of a line at 12 weeks or at any other stage is merely arbitrary and flies in the face of logic, science and scripture. And since God alone is the author of life, we do not have the right to determine whose life has value and whose does not; who should live and who should not. Every society genuinely committed to fundamental human rights, especially the right to life, should take the moral and physical status of the unborn child very seriously indeed. We recognise in this broken and sinful world that hard and difficult circumstances arise. But each life is valuable because God has formed and shaped it for a purpose. We thank God for the life of every child, whatever the circumstances surrounding their conception, or the length of days given to them. As a nation our history shows that we have failed mothers and babies. We have created stigma and shame instead of creating an environment of grace and love. We need to do better—better at compassion, better at support from conception, better at alternatives like adoption. As church leaders we seek to offer our support and compassion to those caught up in hopelessness, fear and despair surrounding a pregnancy. To those burdened by guilt at abortions they’ve had, we hold out the offer of love, support and hope. It is our belief that a mark of a truly progressive society is in its commitment to protect its most vulnerable. Any move to eliminate that protection would be a regressive step for our society. The 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution recognises the worth of both women and unborn children. The 8th Amendment is a progressive measure that enshrines the equal right to life for all and helps make our society more meaningful, more compassionate and a model for other nations. We, therefore, urge our church members and our fellow citizens to resist this misguided call to repeal the 8th Amendment, and continue to work towards a better, more caring and compassionate society.”

This statement has been endorsed by the following Church leaders:

Pastor Richard Blayney,

Brannockstown, Kildare

Pastor Andy Compton, Midleton, Cork

Pastor Colin Creighton,

Carrickmacross, Monaghan

Pastor Eddie Dorney, Cork

Pastor Jonny Grant, Carrigaline, Cork

Pastor Jeff Hay, Firhouse, Dublin

Pastor Clem Hegarty, Swords

Pastor John Herrick, Tralee

Pastor Jonathan Holland, Swords

Pastor Ciaran Loughran, Trim, Meath

Pastor Joel Marcus, Cavan

Pastor Richard McConnell, Ballycullen,

Dublin

Pastor Rob Millar, Finglass, Dublin

Pastor Dominic Montgomery, Athlone

Pastor Pat Mullen, Dublin

Pastor Stephen Murphy, Dundalk

Pastor David Neald, Waterford

Pastor Ed Neill, Harold’s Cross, Dublin

Pastor Martin Parker, Bandon, Cork

Pastor Jason Post, Galway

Pastor Kirk Poth, Sligo

Pastor Paul Ritchie, Limerick

Pastor Jonathan Shaw, Crumlin,

Dublin

Pastor James Wadsworth, Balbriggan

Pastor Ivan Watson, Cavan

Pastor Stephen Wilson, Letterkenny