The Eighth Amendment
Sir, – In considering whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment and introduce abortion here, we can learn from the experience in other countries, perhaps most obviously Britain. Abortion was introduced there on supposedly limited grounds in 1967. The reality is that in 2017, abortion is available on demand in Britain. This is the effect of the legal grounds in practice, especially the risk to mental health ground. In Britain, one in five pregnancies now ends in abortion.
Some abortion advocates claim that legalising abortion would not increase our abortion rate. Such claims are flatly contradicted by the lived experience of countries that have introduced abortion and watched as its occurrence rose dramatically over time.
Such claims also defy common sense: how can it be thought that our abortion rate will not increase if it is more easily, quickly and locally available?
In addition, although women travel from Ireland for an abortion, we still have a far lower abortion rate. Some women have even bravely stepped forward to say that their children are alive today because of the Eighth Amendment.
The enormous tragedy is that, if our laws on abortion are changed, countless more unborn children, unique, irreplaceable and immeasurably precious, as all humans are whatever our differences, will be forced to pay with their lives for a change brought about by adults. More women too will be left with a terrible and profound grief.
Should our laws not strive to save as many babies and women as we can? – Yours, etc,
Miltown Malbay, Co Clare.