In this interview, His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, speaks on abortion and on the duty of Catholic politicians in this regard.

The 40th anniversary of Roe vs Wade has just passed which legalised abortion in America under the auspices of "health care". Could you comment on the devastation and misery which this has brought to thousands of women and also why abortion is a crime which should never be decriminalised?

The celebration of the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade underlines for the United States of America the incalculable harm which has been done by the legalization of abortion. Abortion has nothing to do with healthcare, the infant in the womb is not a disease but a gift of new human life. Over 50 million lives have been taken since the handing down of Roe vs. Wade, a decision which practically permits the taking of the life of the infant in the womb up to the very moment of birth. It is not possible to comprehend all of the devastation worked by procured abortion on demand during these past forty years. There is, first of all, the devastation of the loss of innocent and defenceless human life in such staggering numbers. At the same time, there is the tremendous suffering of the women who have undergone an abortion and who have come to understand that they have violently taken a new human life conceived in their wombs. To commit abortion is contrary to the deepest being of a woman. The taking of an innocent and defenceless human life can never be right, can never be justified. Therefore, to decriminalize abortion is a contradiction of the most fundamental principle of the legal system, the principle that human life is to be safeguarded and defended at all times. It is clear that, in the United States of America, the decriminalization of abortion has resulted in millions of deaths, in the loss of respect for woman and in the ever greater violence which sadly marks American society today.

The tragic death of Savita Halappanavar has triggered a frenzy amongst abortion activists in a similar way to which deception and lies were used in the case of Norma Jean McCorvey's pregnancy in 1973. What lessons can the Irish government learn from the McCorvey case to prevent the Savita Case becoming Ireland's Roe vs Wade?

The death of Savita Halappanavar is indeed tragic. It is, however, contrary to right reason to hold that an innocent and defenceless human life can be justifiably destroyed in order to save the life of the mother. The Irish people, and especially the Irish government, should be very alert to the kind of argumentation which will be used by the secular media and by secular ideologues, in general, claiming that the destruction of the new human life in her womb could have saved the life of Savita Halappanavar and, therefore, would have been justified. Such an argument is absurd in itself. Even though, if the reports are correct, Savita Halappanavar requested an abortion, her request would not have made it right for the law to permit such an act which is always and everywhere wrong.