Ganley vigil

a guest Jul 6th, 2013 1,017 Never
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  1. Ninety-seven years ago, not half a mile from this place, a small group of Irish men and women fought and died for the idea of an Irish Republic that would cherish all the children of the nation equally.
  2. Since we secured our freedom, our small country has consistently stood in defence of that big idea – that all are created equal, and that all are equally protected under our laws.
  3. We have stood, an outcrop in the North Atlantic, against a tidal wave of short-sightedness that has swept away the rights of the unborn in almost every corner of the globe.
  4. Here, near alone, have we stood as a beacon for human rights – protecting the lives of the most vulnerable, and remaining one the safest places on earth for a woman to give birth.
  5. That has been our achievement – and the fundamental equality of every human individual has been the promise of our nation.
  6. Equality.
  7. And rights.
  8. And respect.
  9. Where the right to life stands as the most important and sacred right of all.
  10. Today you stand here as the heirs to that promise.
  11. You stand here as a beacon of hope to every human who cherishes the notion that we are all created equal, created human, and created free.
  12. You stand here in your thousands, men and women, and children, as defenders of the right to life – the right to live, the right to breathe the free air and see the rising sun.
  13. So I want to thank you.
  14. Thank you for your dignity and your determination.
  15. Thank you for your courage in the face of those who would mock you for speaking the simple truth that every human being has the right to be alive. The right to be born. The right to be loved. The right to survive.
  16. Thank you for speaking up, and talking to your politicians. And reminding Enda Kenny that every conscience matters as much as Eamon Gilmores.
  17. Thank you for noticing, when some in our media do not, that good men and women are being thrown from Fine Gael for voting exactly as they said they would before the last election.
  18. And thank you for not giving up, and not giving in, and not going along with those voices who say that the killing of an unborn child is some kind of medicine.
  19. The other side say that abortion is a deeply personal issue, and it is.
  20. They say that some pregnancies are crisis pregnancies, and they are.
  21. They say that a man can never know what it is to face that situation – and perhaps they’re right.
  22. But one of the reasons I’m standing here is because abortion is deeply personal to me.
  23. When my wife Delia was pregnant with one of our four children we were told that our baby had “abnormalities”.
  24. We were advised by a doctor in New York that we should have an abortion.
  25. The doctor explained that under the circumstances he was legally required to reccomend an abortion.
  26. Of course my wife said no.
  27. And today that child is healthy and happy and the one of the four greatest gifts our family has ever been given.
  28. The lesson I learnt from that is that where there is life, there is always hope.
  29. And when you deliberately target and take away life, you take away hope. You take away hope and you welcome in despair.
  30. You say that there is a hierarchy of human lives – a ranking system, where one group are more worthy than another.
  31. Where some are ranked so low in the eyes of some that they are dehumanised to such an extent that the shield of our laws is taken away from them.
  32. When we discriminate like this we create a society where boys are considered more valuable than girls – as we see in India and China.
  33. Where children with Downs Syndrome are eradicated en masse before they take a breath, as happens in the United States.
  34. Where a child with a cleft palate is killed for being imperfect, as we see in the United Kingdom.
  35. Abortion doesn’t empower women – it disempowers humanity.
  36. It demeans humanity.
  37. It has robbed us in the last half century of hundreds of million human voices, snuffed out before they had the chance to cry.
  38. It has robbed us of scientists and artists and sportsmen and leaders, of mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters.
  39. It has taken from us both the gifted and the ordinary, the beautiful and the plain. Abortion doesn’t discriminate – it takes from us, one fragment at a time, the future of our species.
  40. It is important as we stand here today to oppose those who would make this fundamental error to recognise the brave few who have stood against it.
  41. To thank them. And applaud them.
  42. To thank Colm Keaveney, who put his principles ahead of his career in politics.
  43. To thank Billy Timmins, and officer and a gentleman patriot, who walked away from a career in Fine Gael to stand on the side of those who needed him.
  44. To thank Lucinda Creighton, who has stood firmly and with outstanding courage for her most deeply held convictions.
  45. To thank to Brian Walsh, and Peter Mathews, and Terence Flanagan who stood up when all the voices around them were screaming sit down and stay quiet.
  46. To thank to Peadar Toibin, who proved that what you do matters more than what party’s seat you sit in.
  47. And to thank to those Fianna Fáil and Independent TDs and Senators who have chosen to vote to guarantee rights to every human – mother and child.
  48. That is something to be proud of.
  49. Because this bill is not about protecting women.
  50. This is and has been one of the safest countries on earth for pregnant women. That is not in dispute.
  51. Nor is this bill about treating suicide – we know that because the Psychiatrists tell us that abortion is not a treatment, and because we know in our hearts that death is never a cure.
  52. This is not a bill that will save one single life – it is a bill that will take lives.
  53. So I oppose it.
  54. And you oppose it.
  55. Because life is not something we compromise on.
  56. Human rights are never negotiable.
  57. No human being may ever own or have power of life or death over another.
  58. It’s why we abolished slavery.
  59. It is why, 150 years ago this past week, the men of the Irish brigade withstood the charge of the Confederate army at Gettysburg.
  60. It is why many of those Irishmen gave their lives in a foreign land so that all the children of that land could be born free.
  61. Today we stand here to ensure that every Irish child can be born free, and given their right to life.
  62. Because life is all we have.
  63. Because we know that we do not ever possess or hold in our hands any life but our own.
  64. We know that we may not sacrifice another life for our own convenience or peace of mind.
  65. We know that life is the gift given to us at our creation, and the one gift that is ours alone to keep, and cherish, and use.
  66. We need not look to scripture or faith to know this – we need only look to science and what man himself has discovered.
  67. Our DNA, our unique genetic code, proves to us that there will never again be an individual life form entirely identical to our own.
  68. That our creation renders us unique in the history of the world, and the universe.
  69. That each of us is separate, none of us is owned by another.
  70. Enda Kenny cannot take that gift or that right away. Nobody can.
  71. So we stand here today in our thousands to say no to the destruction of human life.
  72. To say yes to rights.
  73. To give voice to the millions whose screams have been silent.
  74. To say to this Taoiseach that he has lost his way in the most fundamental way.
  75. That he has broken a promise about something more than money or power – he has broken his promise on human life itself.
  76. So we stand here to say to him that he, and we, breathe the air today only because we were allowed to be born.
  77. And we raise our voices because those who are yet to be born cannot speak for themselves.
  78. We must speak for them.
  79. And let me say this now – the people must be given a chance to speak for them.
  80. Let those Senators and TDs use the power granted to them under article 27 of our constitution to let the people speak on this bill.
  81. Let us vote.
  82. Let us pass judgement on Enda Kenny’s abortion bill in a referendum
  83. Let us show him what the Irish people think of it.
  84. He says his book is the constitution.
  85. Well use it, Taoiseach.
  86. He says he trusts the people.
  87. Well prove it, Taoiseach.
  88. He says this is a matter of grave concern to the public.
  89. Well ask them, Taoiseach.
  90. For once in your life, Taoiseach, prove that you’re not as scared of the Irish people as you are of Angela Merkel.
  91. So over the next week, call your TDs. Tell them you want to speak.
  92. Tell them you want to speak for life, and freedom, and the right to be born.
  93. Because we must speak for all who are weak, and all who need our voices.
  94. And we must never stop, we must never be silent, we must never stop fighting.
  95. God bless you, thank you, keep going, keep fighting, and never, ever give up.
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