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Franklin Graham: This Is a National Tragedy

People celebrate Ireland repealing abortion restrictions.
People celebrate Ireland repealing abortion restrictions. (REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

Ireland overwhelmingly voted to repeal abortion restrictions last week, breaking the heart of international Christian leaders like Franklin Graham. The Eighth Amendment, which was added to the constitution following a referendum in 1983, banned abortion in Ireland unless there was a "real and substantial risk" to the mother's life.

"They're calling it a landslide—I call it a national tragedy," Graham posted to Facebook.

Reuters reports over 3,000 women would travel to Britain each year for terminations, and "Yes" campaigners argued that with others now ordering pills illegally online, abortion was already a reality in Ireland.

"So now, what they have decided is that the stronger have the right to take the life of the weaker. At least 33% of the country got it right. Just because the majority who voted say that murdering the unborn should be legal, doesn't mean that it's right. Just because the Hutus in Rwanda had a majority and wanted to kill all the Tutsis, that doesn't make it right. For many years in the United States, the majority thought slavery was okay and should be legal, but that doesn't make it right. No matter what country you live in, everyone needs to remember that you will stand before God one day and give an account for your actions—and it may be sooner than later," Graham said.

Lawmakers who campaigned for a "No" vote said they would not seek to block the government's plans to allow abortions with no restriction up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

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"What Irish voters did yesterday is a tragedy of historic proportions," the Save The 8th group said. "However, a wrong does not become a right simply because a majority support it."

Other pro-life groups condemned the voting outcome, as well.

"The loss of the 8th Amendment's covering of protection for mothers and infants is a tragedy, and the people of Ireland will pay the price in the physical trauma, lives lost and personal heartache that Americans have experienced for over 45 years since the advent of abortion on demand. But to the extent its repeal inaugurates a new era of fighting for women and infants in the Irish legislature, and showing care and compassion for women in the pregnancy resource centers that will open up around the country, this will herald the beginning of a true pro-life movement in Ireland. Americans United for Life welcomes this expanded opportunity to work with our Irish friends and family members toward a time when, once again, every human being is welcomed in life and protected in law," says Catherine Glenn Foster, President and CEO of Americans United for Life

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