Legislating on abortion

Tue, Jul 24, 2012, 01:00

Sir, – Fine Gael members of Dáil Éireann and the Seanad who spoke out in defence of the unborn (Breaking News, July 19th Home News, July 21st) deserve the fullest support of all who value human dignity and cherish life from conception to natural death.

Let us not fail them in our support. – Yours, etc,


Prof Emeritus of

Gynaecology Obstetrics,

NUI Galway,

Lower Taylor’s Hill, Galway.

It saddened me greatly to hear that a number of Fine Gael TDs and Senators are not giving these women, and the thousands of others that have yet to go through this horrendous diagnosis, their 100 per cent support to legalise termination in specific circumstances.

I myself received a similar diagnosis at 37 weeks and delivered at 42 weeks when my daughter was, as expected, stillborn. I heard and felt the same words as these women had to hear “Your baby will not survive”. I wonder if those TDs and Senators who are against the proposal had to experience this situation themselves, whether they might develop a greater empathy towards women in these circumstances? Until they have the moral courage to put themselves in the unenviable position that these women are faced with, let them not abuse their power to force anyone down a particular road, as is the current position.

If any of these women are spared even a fraction of the pain that I went through, by allowing them to terminate, then this facility needs to be available in Ireland. – Is mise,


Laurel Lodge, Dublin 15.

A chara, – Kathleen Lynch is quoted as saying the Government will have “no choice” but to legislate for abortion in order to “accommodate” the X case (Home News, July 23rd). Governments always have choices and ultimatums from junior partners rarely help.

Nobody anticipated an interpretation of the X case allowing for a liberal abortion-on-demand regime, and when pro- and anti- abortion forces combined to defeat the last referendum, nobody believed this meant the people of Ireland had voted for abortion. Yet pro-choice campaigners are now engaging in serious revisionism to suggest some sort of legal and moral imperative for its introduction. Opponents of these moves are labelled cowards. However, successive governments have refused to introduce abortion not because they are afraid to, but because they are vehemently opposed to it.

Repeated polls suggest a majority of people oppose it and an overwhelming majority of our parliamentarians oppose it. In our democracy, that is the realpolitik.

Labour likes to believe it is the only party with principles, and loves nothing more than telling other people what is best for them, but at support levels not far off 10 per cent and heading south, this is the wrong issue on which to make a stand. – Is mise,


Travers Hill,

Boyle, Co Roscommon.

A chara, – I have been closely following news about the expert group tasked with making recommendations on implementing the European Court of Human Rights ruling on abortion legislation and in particular the campaign of the women who chose to terminate their pregnancies due to fatal abnormalities.