Correspondence: The 8th Amendment Referendum : Some arguments for Voting Yes
2 April 2018
Human Life. Can it be said that a cluster of eggs is living? Though it has the potential for life, it cannot fulfill it. It exists, rather than lives.
It is acknowledged legally that, in the case of an human being lapsing into what seems to be an irreversible coma that person’s closest relatives have the right to take steps that will advance his/her decease. It might be argued that, unlike a foetus, such a person has no prospect of life and is effectively dead, but this is never wholly certain. Should not the pro-lifers be concerned?
Simon Harris has done one good thing in drawing attention to some of the lies spread by the anti-abortionists and their mates. Two that I remember personally (c1975) are ‘Babies cannot be born of rape’ and ’There is no incest in Ireland.’ Today, we are told that repealing the 8th Amendment will lead to abortion on demand. As one who would not mind particularly, the writer should point out that this is not inevitable. Indeed, Britain, Poland and many American states have more restrictive abortion regimes than they had earlier.
Another lie that I noticed being spread by some anti-abortion docs. is the idea that it does not inhibit the taking of measures to save a pregnant woman’s life because of the danger that such a measure may abort the foetus. Already this has been denied by one gynecologist on the grounds (perhaps genuine) that he personally has never had to make such a choice Yet we know that both Stella Hodgers and Savita Halapanavar fell victim to the culture that gives the foetus the veto over the mother’s life.
The idea that keeping the amendment is likely to mean better service for pregnant women is likely to prove untrue, as well. In 35 years, the provision of such services has not been hastened by the existence of the 8th Amendment. As it is, the state has many other calls on its pocket in health and housing. In the end, it is likely to prove cheaper to resort to the imprisonment of abortionists, including, as is being attempted in the six counties, women who take the morning after pill.