Anti-abortion protests at medical facilities
Sir, – Ingrid Seim (Letters, January 11th) claims to know what pro-life protests are all “about”. In one short letter she ascribes various nefarious motivations to the protesters: shame, intimidation, harassment and abuse.
She is, of course, wrong. Pro-life protests are about what all protests are about: a raising of public awareness of a wrong or injustice, and a public demonstration of opposition to said wrong. There is no motivation of harassment or intimidation.
Citizens have a right to peaceful assembly, and that right is not contingent on the “feelings” of others. The right to decide where one protests is an integral part of that right.
Exclusion zones, which serve to tell one cohort of citizens where they can protest, and for what reason, will surely have repercussions that anyone who upholds, with the right to protest should be concerned about. – Yours, etc,
MARIA MHIC MEANMAIN,
Sir, – On May 25th, 2018, the Irish people gave a very clear mandate to make abortion available in this country. The Government followed this up with legislation, and abortion now is legal and available in Ireland, within the boundaries of the legislation.
Of course there are people who deeply disagree with it, and they are free to do so. What is not acceptable is for a small number of fanatics to bully patients and medics going about their lawful business, and the sooner new legislation is enacted to prohibit anti-abortion protests in the vicinity of medical facilities the better.
It is important to remember that we are not fighting the referendum campaign anymore. It has been decided, and the people’s will was crystal clear with a conclusive two-thirds majority. It will not change, and the anti-abortion campaigners standing outside medical facilities are not there because of any right to protest but because they have an inability to mind their own business.
Women seeking abortions, other patients and healthcare providers should not have to deal with these tactics, and hopefully soon they will not have to. – Yours, etc,
Dr CHRYSSA DISLIS,