Faith, politics and the Eighth Amendment

 

Sir, – Thank you for publishing Nick Park’s reasoned article on the Eighth Amendment debate (“Politics and religion mix appropriately over Eighth Amendment”, Rite & Reason, March 28th). Irrespective of religious belief, or lack of it, the logic of our common humanity is that the rights of an adult should have no greater validity than those of a child, whether born or still in utero. A person’s right to choose must be based on their personal conscience, not on social opinion. While it is impossible to underestimate the trauma for someone continuing a pregnancy which medical opinion has deemed to be nonviable, the ethical and moral principle of the Eighth Amendment remains valid. – Yours, etc,

MARY de PAOR,

Mount Merrion,

Co Dublin.

A chara, – Well done to Nick Park for making it abundantly clear that the purpose of the Eighth Amendment to our Constitution is to defend the fundamental human right to life of the unborn – a right specifically enshrined in international human rights treaties which make no mention of a right to abortion – and not to force a particular religious viewpoint upon others.

People of faith defend human rights, including those of unborn children, because they know it to be their moral duty to do so, not because they are part of some arcane and arbitrary tenet of their religious beliefs.

That so many in favour of liberalising the abortion regime in this country try to portray those who do not agree with them as being primarily motivated by religion amounts to an ad hominem attack upon their opponents; and it also demonstrates their lack of faith that their other arguments without the support of this one, arguments that focus on denying that the unborn child is an individual human being with the right to life, will not ultimately produce the result they desire. – Is mise,

Rev PATRICK G BURKE,

Castlecomer,

Co Kilkenny.

Sir, – Nick Park writes: “... I cringe when the church starts to look and sound like the Taliban”. I find that statement to be offensive, unqualified and without evidence. In short, unbecoming of your publication. – Yours, etc,

STEPHEN O’HARA,

Ballincollig,

Co Cork.