The abortion debate

Sat, Feb 2, 2013, 00:00

Sir, – It is interesting that John Waters decided to describe liberals as having an “awesome talent for demonising opponents, to make abortion seem an unambiguous abomination” (Opinion, February 1st). If such a talent exists among liberals, perhaps they picked up a few tips from its pioneering practitioners – the once-dominant Christian churches.

The Christian churches have been fond of demonising women (17th century with burnings across Europe; Magdalene Laundries, etc). They cast out homosexuals as abominations (supporting legislation that criminalised homosexuality and opposed equal treatment) and in Ireland have sabotaged attempts to systematically improve women and children’s health by castigating socialism as ungodly (such as the interference of Catholic Church in Dr Noël Browne’s mother and child scheme).

By seeking to undermine the credibility of an argument with neither logic or evidence but with such inflammatory language, John Waters perpetrates the same offence for which he criticises liberals.

Perhaps he merely does not like imitators of the real thing. – Yours, etc,

ANNE MARIE DONOVAN,

Fortfield Road, Dublin 6W.

Sir, – In her article reflecting on the 40th anniversary of the Roe judgment of the US Supreme Court which established the right of access to abortion for women, Ivana Bacik (Law Matters, January 28th) cites the rights of adults approvingly on 15 separate occasions.

In contrast, she refers on only two occasions to the rights of children. The first occurs in the context of what she sees as constant attacks on the Roe judgment, where she highlights court decisions “requiring parental consent for minors seeking abortion” as an example of one of the “many attempts [that] have been made to undermine its core principles”.

Her second reference to children’s rights occurs when she quotes the wording of the Eighth Amendment to our Constitution which “guaranteed the unborn an equal right to life with that of the pregnant woman”, an amendment of which she has consistently expressed her disapproval .

Ms Bacik concludes by stating bluntly (as she puts it herself) that “women die where they do not have access to legal abortion”. Not surprisingly she didn’t add: and unborn children die when they do (at least fifty million in the US alone since the Roe decision.

Even if every one of these 50 million abortions had been carried out to either save the life of a woman or preserve her health, something which nobody believes, the fact that Ms Bacik had absolutely nothing to say about the duty of care to even one of these 50 million tiny human beings suggests in the words of philosopher David Burrell “a chilling inattention to the plight of victims”. – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN CONROY,

Mulvey Park, Windy Arbour,

Dublin 14.