Eighth Amendment poster campaigns
Sir, – The anti-abortion campaign has a poster that depicts a pregnant female torso with the skin on the stomach removed to reveal a nearly full-term baby.
The absence of the woman’s head and legs confirms my belief that the anti-abortion campaign view pregnant women as incubators.
It troubles me that half the population are seen merely as incubators and not for the valuable contribution they can provide to society.
How many more of these women do we have to lose to a lack of proper medical treatment because the Eighth Amendment means their value as an incubator is higher than their value as an active member of society? – Yours, etc,
Sir, – I was shocked and disappointed to see that Inclusion Ireland, the national association for people with an intellectual disability, is joining the Together for Yes campaign in support of repealing the Eighth Amendment.
In the UK, 92 per cent of babies with Down syndrome are aborted.
As medicine advances and more and more intellectual disabilities can be detected, more and more babies with intellectual disabilities will be aborted. This is discrimination against people with disabilities.
Organisations which purport to represent people with disabilities would do better to focus on creating a society that welcomes and supports people with disabilities rather than supporting a movement which will result in many of them never having a chance at life. – Yours, etc,
Dr RUTH CULLEN,
Sir, – Thomas G Cotter (April 14th) accuses the Save the 8th Campaign of using “manipulated” statistics “to encourage a No vote”.
Specifically he says that our posters which state that in England one in five pregnancies (20 per cent) are aborted are inaccurate because “if you include official 2016 statistics for Scotland and Wales, the overall rate falls to 14 per cent”.
In fact, as the Save the 8th poster clearly states, the ratio of one in five babies aborted in Britain is based on statistics published by the British Department of Health, which actually compiles figures on a joint basis for England and Wales.
In 2016, these figures show that there were 185,596 abortions performed in England and Wales, with 696,271 births recorded, which means that just over 21 per cent of pregnancies were aborted. This is the simple fact referred to in our posters.
In Scotland in 2016 there were 12,063 abortions and 54,488 births recorded. If these figures are added to the statistics for England and Wales, as Mr Cotter proposes, then they give totals of 197,659 abortions and 750,759 births, which translates into an overall rate of abortion of just under 21 per cent for Great Britain combined. So no matter what way the statistics are presented, the statement on our posters that one in five pregnancies ends in abortion is entirely accurate.
The only reason that there is an attempt to dispute these figures is that they expose the shocking truth of what abortion on demand actually means. Once extreme liberal laws such as those proposed by the Government are introduced, then any notion that abortion can be “rare” or a “last resort” becomes a fantasy.
If abortion is the simple “medical treatment” which it is presented to be, then campaigners should have no objection to these figures being widely publicised.
But they know that the Irish people know that there is something deeply wrong with any society which allows the lives of unborn children to be ended on such an industrial scale.
That’s the simple choice facing the electorate on May 25th. I believe they will vote No to protect life because this proposal would introduce the British model of abortion to Ireland, and this is simply a step too far for most Irish people. – Yours, etc,
NIAMH UÍ BHRIAIN,
Save the 8th Campaign,
Sir, – The Church of Ireland Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, Dr Kenneth Kearon, has called for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment (“Church of Ireland bishop supports repeal of Eighth Amendment” News, April 14th).
Dr Kearon justifies his position in part by referring to the debates among patristic and medieval theologians about the moment of ensoulment.
Regardless of the variations of opinion on ensoulment shown throughout that debate it was also the case that those same theologians never countenanced abortion at any stage.
In The Soul of the Embryo, his authoritative study of the ensoulment debate, Prof David Albert Jones concludes that there was a “remarkable consistency in Christian attitudes to early human life”.
He adds: “The particular shape of the legal and penitential structures of the Church varied through the ages, but in every age, depriving the unborn child life was considered a serious sin”.
Dr Kearon’s case for abortion on the grounds that some pregnancies miscarry is extraordinarily weak. Miscarriage is accidental; abortion is deliberate – the deliberate taking of innocent life.
Dr Kearon has also, it would seem, failed to take into account that almost certainly the eventual consequence of the amendment’s repeal will be abortion on demand up to 12 weeks (and in certain cases beyond 12 weeks); 12 weeks is a point long after the end of the period of 40 days which even Aquinas believed was necessary for ensoulment to occur. – Yours, etc,