Equal right to life of the unborn is a nonsense
Suppose a healthy male, in hospital for a minor operation, were to awake to find himself hooked up to another person for a few months, so that this other person would live. Would any of us consider it would be okay for a law to be passed that criminalised that male for refusing to give sustenance to the other person? And criminalise anybody who assisted that healthy male in unhooking him from that other person, even when thereby that other person would die?
Yes, in the vast majority of instances, the woman has consented at least to the possibility of having another human being requiring her to give sustenance to a person for nine months. But what about a woman who is raped, who gave no consent? The absolutist opposition to abortion is born out of a culture that is hostile to the equality of women.
This is exemplified particularly by Catholic Church prelates, who believe women are not qualified, because they are women, to enact the most sacred rituals of their religion. This same church, incidentally, has a history of adding enormously to the stigma of single parenthood, thereby to an incentive to abortion.
And isn’t there something odd about a society that proclaims the sacredness of human life but is so indifferent to it when it comes to the distribution of resources that would honour that sacredness?
Ireland promised over 10 years ago to meet the United Nations target of allocating 0.7 per cent of GDP to foreign aid within a few years. That foreign aid, even at that minimal level, would have kept a few thousand African children alive. But that promise was dishonoured. During the boom years of the 2000s the contention was that we were too rich and the 0.7 per cent of GDP was too large. Now the contention is we are too poor and cannot afford it, although we remain one of the richest countries in the world.
Also, our Government and previous governments have pursued policies that maintain or deepen inequality here, even though we know that the scale of inequality here results in the premature death of more than 5,000 a year.
A reality check on any moral position is to access whether the person affected adversely by an action would concur with that choice, were they appraised of the relevant facts. This lovely person who has just come into the lives of the family I know will, in time, concur she did not have an unconditional right to life at this time and that a decision whether to terminate her life now, ultimately, was a matter solely for her mother.