So the Greens now have their hands on the reins of government, surely bringing some badly-needed compassion to considerations regarding all helpless creatures in peril such as red squirrels and maybe even unborn babies? 

Not so.

The Programme for Government agreed by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens includes 17 references to animal welfare and health, but a suggestion during negotiations that unborn babies be given pain-relief in late-term abortions was “shut-down” by Leo Varadkar.

Instead the programme agreed by all three parties prioritises the establishment of  “exclusion zones” to criminalise peaceful pro-life vigils.

This should come as no surprise. Simon Harris is an abortion-obsessive, endlessly tweeting about ending the lives of unborn children, especially when public attention is being drawn to the absolute chaos he has presided over in the health service.

His vindictiveness on the issue is apparent: ruling out any humane measures such as pain relief or burial for unborn babies, and constantly attacking any pro-life measures or organisations that seek to offer women a better answer than abortion.

He slammed pregnancy support groups who offer women real compassionate alternatives to abortion, saying, on the basis of a misleading newspaper sting, that he wanted them “shut down” and that they made him “sick to the pit of my stomach.”

He had no such strident or histrionic reaction to the shocking case in the National Maternity Hospital where a baby was misdiagnosed with a severe abnormality and then aborted. Despite the hundred-plus references to reviews and commissions in the Programme for Government, there’s no mention of prioritising the investigation into that dreadful case.

Not that the Greens have been any better. They’ve sought to make it a crime to offer or even show a woman going for an abortion a leaflet.  So much for women having the right to be fully informed.

All the parties know that the call for exclusion zones is based on a desire to shut down and criminalise peaceful, and often prayerful, pro-life activities.

Simion Harris can bluster all he wants about vigils being “sickening and appalling” but the fact is that Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said last September that there was “no evidence” to suggest there was any threatening or abusive behaviour from pro-life activists at people using abortion services. He added that no new laws were required to deal with protests and vigils.

The experience of the Gardai and the good intentions of crisis pregnancy volunteers seem to mean nothing to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, who are intent on virtue signalling to abortion extremsists (who are largely lefties who hate them and will never, ever vote for them) and on gaining kudos from a campaigning media.

People of goodwill should be concerned that the government is so determined to make abortion a first choice for women that they want the power to arrest anyone who simply gives a woman going into an abortion centre a pamphlet saying ‘we can help’, and offering a pathway that protects both lives. They should also be concerned that the constitutional right to protest is under attack.

There seems to be no sanctuary for unborn babies from abortion-obsessed politicians in government. But pro-life volunteers will not be deterred from their important work in offering a better answer to both mother and child.