Fatally flawed legislation will not put abortion to bed
Analysis: We are now dependent on the courage of individuals to rail against abortion Bill
Does anyone seriously believe that this legislation will reduce the numbers of abortions, an aim enshrined in previous legislation? Having to travel is an in-built “cooling-off” period, which probably saves many women from making decisions they would later bitterly regret.
Once our medical culture is compromised, so that it is no longer a culture of care but of selective harm, it will be extremely difficult to go back, and much easier to widen the grounds for abortion.
In the X case, because the State did not mount any defence, or even attempt to contradict the evidence of a sole psychologist, the judges could only operate on the basis of the evidence set before them.
This time the State organised not one but two evidence-gathering hearings and then proceeded to ignore the evidence presented. Instead, they embraced the testimony of a tiny minority of psychiatrists who declare, without producing a shred of evidence to support their claim, that there is a category of women whose lives can be saved only through abortion.
It is hard to see a single protective impact the Oireachtas hearings have had on the legislation initially proposed by the expert group. Enda may believe this legislation allies him with the group, perhaps a third of Irish society, who do not want a liberal abortion regime, but who waver on the hard cases.
Instead, if he looks at who is rejoicing at this legislation, he will see the delighted faces of the most hardline pro-choicers in Labour who see this as only the beginning.
With autocratic stubbornness, Enda Kenny has declared that he is right, and everyone shouting stop is wrong. We are now dependent on the courage of individuals, who are the only bulwark left against this fatally flawed legislation.