Directly linking suicide and unwanted pregnancy is flawed base for legislation
In the Irish College of General Practitioners’ guidelines for dealing with crisis pregnancy, there is some sensible advice.
“The GP then has two choices: 1. Attempt to alter the reality of the situation itself 2. Work towards changing the way the woman in crisis sees her situation. While the latter is perhaps more challenging, it may be the wiser course of action as it allows the woman to see alternative means of resolving her problem.”
While the advice was concerned with crisis pregnancy, it is equally valid for suicidal ideation. Why is it when a non-pregnant woman or pregnant woman expresses a wish to die, we assume her judgment is flawed, and that we have better options to offer her than self-destruction? But when a pregnant woman expresses a wish that the child in her womb should die, we assume her judgment is perfectly sound and helpful?
There are so many inaccurate statements about the people’s alleged support for legislation for abortion on the grounds of suicide.
Many, including Alan Shatter who should know better, are repeating the mantra that people rejected removal of suicide as grounds for abortion on two occasions.
Some, however, are more truthful, like the Cedar House Revolution blog. (Always worth a read.) The blog’s tagline is “For lefties too stubborn to quit.”
The blog says in relation to 2002: “While, of course, Youth Defence can’t claim credit for the defeat of that  referendum, they were certainly a major factor in getting an anti-choice No vote out, without which the amendment would most likely have passed.”
The highly respected political scientist Prof Michael Gallagher of Trinity agrees. “However, a small section of conservative opinion, led by the [then] MEP Dana Rosemary Scallon, opposed it, as in 1992, on the purist ground that it would merely restrict rather than completely outlawing abortion, and this group proved decisive, as the proposal was defeated only very narrowly.”
As for the 1992 referendum, I voted against that amendment, as did virtually everyone I know who is anti-abortion. It is simply disingenuous to suggest that the defeat of these two referendums’ proposals imply support for suicidal ideation as a ground for abortion.
Enda Kenny seems determined to drive forward with legislation for X. If he does, he will show how little a Fine Gael promise is worth, and how little he values not only the electorate, but the conscience of those in his party who oppose legislation that will not help, but has great potential for harm.