Abortion and the politics of protest


A chara, – Our Constitution guarantees the right of the citizens to express freely their convictions and opinions and, unless calculated to cause a breach of the peace or to be a danger or nuisance to the general public, to assemble except in the vicinity of either house of the Oireachtas, peaceably and without arms. The Taoiseach’s and Minister for Health’s proposal to legislate for “embarrassment free” exclusion zones around facilities providing abortion services will require another referendum, unless of course these zones are confined to Molesworth or Kildare Street. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.

A chara, – In last May’s referendum, this country overwhelmingly decided that the best-placed person to manage a woman’s fertility is that woman herself. Anything else is patronising, paternalistic, and controlling.

What message, then, are the anti-choice harassment cordons springing up at Irish hospitals and medical centres trying to send? That women accessing abortions are incapable of or unsuitable for making decisions about their own bodies?

Of course, if these anti-choice harassment artists really wanted to prevent abortion, they would be out campaigning for greater access to contraception and better sex education in schools.

But no, they are outside our hospitals and medical centres, hissing and curtain-twitching at potentially vulnerable women. Those of us who campaigned to repeal the Eighth Amendment are sadly not surprised. – Is mise,