Influential New Jersey GOP congressman Chris Smith has slammed the Irish government for a “culture of death” over abortion rights, saying legal abortion has made major inroads in Ireland.
“Bedrock moral and spiritual foundations seem to be cracking and crumbling with lightning speed,” in Ireland he noted.
His speech, before an influential Irish Catholic organization, was made on Friday night in the week before Prime Minister Enda Kenny is due in the U.S for the St.Patrick’s Day festivities.
Unusually, the New Jersey congressman also criticized Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, a long-time ally.
The second ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House and head of the sub- committee on global health, Smith has long been an abortion opponent. He is a prominent member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs and has never criticized the Irish government or Adams in the past.
His speech made at a Friendly Sons of St.Patrick dinner in New York was attended by Timothy Cardinal Dolan.
“Sadly, the culture of death has made recent inroads in Ireland, previously one of the most pro-life countries in the world whose constitution gives equal protection to the lives of mothers and unborn children,” he stated.
He stated, “Legislation legalizing abortion under certain circumstances was pushed by Taoiseach Edna (sic) Kenny last year and became law this January. And in the north of Ireland since the late 1990s, I have repeatedly raised serious concerns with Sinn Fein’s leadership including Gerry Adams over their position on abortion.
He stated, “What was once construed as right and honorable and good, now, all of a sudden, is labeled wrong. To defend Judeo Christian values in modern times—makes both our message and our physical presence unwelcomed.
“The culture of death has been a decades-long megatrend in society—slavishly promoted by many politicians, journalists, academics, environmentalists and some human rights groups like Amnesty International. The new intolerance disenfranchises the weakest, youngest, oldest and most vulnerable while masquerading as enlightened and progressive. But this evil, like any other, need not be forever.”
Smith stated, “Silence is not an option. It falls to us to promote and establish a sustainable culture of life both here and overseas—inclusive of all regardless of religion, race, sex, disability, age or condition of dependency.It falls to us to warn others in the world of the deception and lies so skillfully employed by the abortion industry. “
The Irish abortion case arose after the death of a young woman, Savita Halappanavar in Galway hospital after doctors there refused to carry out a termination on a non-viable fetus and the mother contracted sepsis.