Referendum On Abortion
Sir, - A statement has recently received wide publicity emanating from the group entitled the Pro-Life Movement and encouraging people to support the Government referendum on the abortion issue.
The group in question - headed, I believe, by a prominent senator of the Fianna Fβil party - does not, in my opinion, speak for the pro-life movement all over Ireland. How many members are there in the group calling itself "The Pro-Life Movement" and how many of them supported the public statement which was recently issued by the group?
I have been at a most impressive mass meeting organised in Dublin under the auspices of Youth Defence at which everyone who spoke was firmly opposed to the Government proposals. I believe this attitude will be reflected throughout the length and breadth of Ireland when people reflect on the calculated decision to exclude the unborn child during the first days after conception from the protection against abortion offered by the Bill.
Why was the Bill sprung upon the public without any previous debate or discussion as to what provisions the Bill should contain? Why are the provisions of the Constitution as to the procedure for amendment not being followed in relation to this legislation?
What is important is that those associated with the pro-life movement all over Ireland should not be deceived into thinking that the issue has been decided for them by a group of wise men in Dublin and should vote in the knowledge that the proposed amendment presents a real threat to the constitutional protection already afforded by the Constitution to the unborn child. - Yours, etc.,
Roderick J. O'Hanlon, Kilternan, Co Dublin.