DUBLIN — A liberal politician in Ireland recently asserted that a proposed bill to legalize abortion in the country is problematic as it refers only to “women” being able to obtain an abortion, and suggested that the legislation should rather read “pregnant person” so as not to leave out women who identify as men or “non-binary.”
“The definition provided in the bill says ‘woman,'” Solidarity/People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy said before Parliament on Oct. 16. “And it’s ‘woman’ used throughout the course of the bill in terms of who can access abortion. It says, ‘Woman means a female person of any age.'”
He said that he found this language to pose an issue for “trans men,” that is, those who were born female but identify as male, as well as biological women who don’t feel like they fit into either gender.
“When read in conjunction with the Gender Recognition Act, [this] would create—seems to me—a real problem where trans men have the capacity to become pregnant, as do non-binary people,” Murphy remarked. “[U]nder a strict reading of [the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill they] would be unable to access abortion.”
He outlined that he would like to see “trans and non-binary inclusive language” in the abortion bill so that women who identify as men, or identify as neither gender, could be assured of their right to abortion as well. Murphy suggested that legislators should “simply replace ‘woman’ with ‘pregnant person'” throughout the bill.
According to The Times, Health Minister Simon Harris said that the text of Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill will not be altered to encompass those who identify as “transgender,” but that the legislation will not prevent them from obtaining an abortion either.
The outlet reports that Harris “supports trans men having the same reproductive rights as women, but has received legal advice that mentioning them in the law would have unintended consequences.”
“The government position is that transgender men should enjoy the same ‘rights and liabilities’ as women under any new abortion law,” it states.
As previously reported, residents in the Republic of Ireland, a predominantly Roman Catholic country, voted in April to repeal the nation’s constitutional amendment banning the murder of unborn children—known as the Eighth Amendment—paving the way for lawmakers to propose legislation allowing mothers to obtain abortions.
Residents gathered at Dublin Castle to hear the results of the referendum broke into cheers upon hearing the news, and Prime Minister Leo Varadkar claimed that the vote marked “the day we took our place among the nations of the world.”
A number of pro-life groups mourned the development, including Both Lives Matter, which said, “We mourn that a vital protection and declaration of dignity for both women and their unborn children has been removed from the Irish constitution. The idea that women have won today because they might have the choice to end their unborn child’s life is too small and sad a vision.”
In his book “Holiness,” the late Anglican preacher J.C. Ryle noted that sin infects all of mankind, from every corner of the world. It is why Jesus said in John 3:3 that men must be born again, having their very nature regenerated, or they cannot see the Kingdom of God.
“Let us remember … that every part of the world bears testimony to the fact that sin is the universal disease of all mankind,” Ryle wrote. “Search the globe from east to west and from pole to pole, search every nation in every climate in the four quarters of the earth, search every rank and class in our own country from the highest to the lowest, and under every circumstance and condition, the report will always be the same.”
“The remotest islands of the Pacific Ocean, completely separate from Europe, Asia, Africa and America, beyond the reach alike of Oriental luxury and Western arts and literature, islands inhabited by people ignorant of books, money, steam and gunpowder—uncontaminated by the vices of modern civilization—these very islands have always been found, when first discovered, the abode of the vilest forms of lust, cruelty, deceit and superstition. If the inhabitants have known nothing else, they have known how to sin! Everywhere the human heart is naturally ‘deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.’”