For and against the Eighth Amendment

 

A chara, – The issue of which way to vote in the forthcoming referendum is an extremely difficult one. Regardless of which side we’re on, we will all have respected friends and colleagues who take the opposite point of view.

As a grandfather who will be voting No, I can’t help noticing that younger people seem to be leaning to the Yes camp.

From what I can see, younger women are stressing the bodily integrity argument, even seeing the lack of legalised abortion as a form of male control over them.

Young men, for their part, also seem to have bought into this argument, many of them even describing abortion as an issue just for women.

I think it’s a bit sad if these attitudes to abortion are also representative of some young people’s attitude to sexuality and reproduction.

Pregnancy, which should be a shared joyful experience for a woman and her husband or boyfriend, is instead seen and felt as an issue of gender politics. – Is mise,

JOHN GLENNON,

Hollywood,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Some people supporting the retention of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution have brought the campaign to a new low by erecting posters showing the Minister for Health against the background of an aborted foetus.

These posters were erected in close proximity to primary schools in my constituency.

Not only should those responsible be brought to justice, but this should surely be cause to ban the archaic practice of poster campaigning which is, at best, a form of legalised littering. – Yours, etc,

RORY O’GRADY,

Greystones, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Minister for Health Simon Harris described posters displayed in Bray as “obscene, horrific, unethical, upsetting for my family”. Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan described them as “loathing and obscene”. Liz McManus said they were “very disturbing and upsetting” and she doesn’t believe people are swayed by “such graphic images”.

It is noteworthy that none of the complainants claimed they were inaccurate.

A fine display of righteous indignation all round and a resounding defence of our public representatives’ right not to be offended by the presentation of unpalatable facts. – Yours, etc,

JOHN F CRONIN,

Terenure,

Dublin 6w.

Sir, – Do people planning to vote No in the upcoming referendum believe that someone has the right to travel for an abortion? If so, it seems the issue is not abortion per se, but the location. – Yours, etc,

LORNA ENGLISH,

Cork.

Sir, – I am a mature man who was happy to support the liberal agenda in seeking to legalise gay marriage on the basis that it supported the principle of equality.

The liberal agenda is now seeking to introduce abortion into Ireland which definitely does not support the principle of equality especially as it pertains to unborn children. Will the liberal agenda please make up its mind – does it support equality or not? – Yours, etc,

PÁDRAIG KIERNAN,

Rathfarnham,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – Since 1983 what have the No side done for women in crisis pregnancies?

What supports have they put in place for victims of rape? What efforts have they made to reach out to women experiencing domestic violence? What services have they provided to single mothers, homeless mothers, mothers who are carers to children with disabilities or chronic health needs? What proposals have they made regarding improvements of maternal mental health?

Finally what contribution have they made towards the implementation of perinatal palliative care? I know of none.

I do, however, know they opposed the introduction of contraception. I do know they opposed greater accessibility to the morning-after pill. I do know they opposed divorce.

I do know they have operated rogue crisis pregnancy services which have traumatised vulnerable women through misinformation and delay tactics.

And I certainly know as they lose their grasp on a changing Ireland they are scrambling for “alternative options” for crisis pregnancies.

These last-ditch efforts are utterly unconvincing as I ask myself where have they been for the last 35 years. – Yours, etc,

BLÁTHNAID

O’LOUGHLIN,

Co Cork.

Sir, – Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stated last week that he was going to “call out” opposition politicians who make unrealistic promises.

I suggest we “call out” all the politicians who were pro-life when they went for election and are now pro-choice. – Yours, etc,

ANNE McGRATH,

Rathfarnham,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – I notice that some of your correspondents who favour retaining the Eighth Amendment cite examples of how  women who have become pregnant unexpectedly through rape have chosen to give birth and have been happy with their decision.

Repealing the Eighth Amendment does not make abortion compulsory.

Any woman who decides to give birth would have nothing in law or statute to prevent them from doing so.

The implication that removing the Eighth would somehow remove their ability to choose to give birth must be challenged.

Everyone, whether they agree with Repeal or not, should acknowledge that in a post-Repeal Ireland, women will have choice and control to decide what they think is best. – Yours, etc, 

RICHARD KAVANAGH,

Dublin 10.