Women’s right to decide
SIR, There’s been a lot of talk of extreme positions lately. Forcing someone to remain pregnant against their will, as the Eighth Amendment does, is almost as extreme an act as forcing someone to become pregnant against their will in the first place. Forcing someone to have an abortion is an equally extreme position. Repealing the Eighth Amendment - allowing a pregnant person themselves to choose whether to remain pregnant or not - is therefore the only reasonable course of action.
From a religious standpoint, the Catholic Church has opposed in Ireland:
1944: Sale of tampons; 1950: Mother & Child scheme; 1970: Catholics studying at Trinity; 1973: Married women in the civil service; 1985: Sale of contraception; 1986: Divorce; 1992: Right to information about abortion and right to travel for abortion; 1993: Decriminalisation of homosexuality; 1996: Divorce (again); 2005: Publication of report into clerical child abuse; 2010: Civil partnerships; 2015: Same-sex marriage.
Here we are in 2018 with the Catholic Church and their proxies trying to deny Irish women the right to decide what happens to their own bodies. Is this still the Ireland we want, the Ireland of Mother and Baby homes and symphysiotomy?
This year, the Irish electorate can show the world the marriage equality referendum was no fluke, that modern Ireland is fair and compassionate and respects the right of an individual and trusts them to do what they feel is best for themselves based on circumstances only that person can truly know.
I am a practicing Catholic myself and still feel that at the end of the day, everything comes down to personal choice. Sincerely,
Sarah Ní Mháirtín, Rue Cuerens, Brussels.