TDs and the Eighth Amendment

 

Sir, – Thank you for publishing the list of TDs and Senators and their opinions on the question of the repeal of the Eighth Amendment (“Abortion referendum tracker”, January 13th). I believe it is very important that we, the electorate, know the views of our political representatives. I was pleased to see the number of representatives who support the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, particularly in the Dublin area.

I am, however, disgusted by the number of representatives who where “undeclared”. The Eighth Amendment was placed in the Constitution in 1983, so our TDs and Senators have had 35 years to make up their minds about whether or not it has been good for Irish society. As people who have chosen to enter public life as representatives of the Irish people, they can’t claim that their views on such an important issue are their own personal, private views, as how they vote in the Dáil affects the legislation that is passed and thus the lives of everyone in the State. They have a duty to declare where they stand on this and other important issues. – Yours, etc,

KIERON STYNES,

Drimnagh, Dublin 12.

Sir, – By asking TDs and members of the Senate to “declare a position” in advance of due and proper consideration of abortion proposals, The Irish Times is attempting to manipulate political and public opinion. A similar tactic was used to advance the Fine Gael party vote that elected our current Taoiseach. – Yours, etc,

MB DOHERTY,

Dublin 6 .

Sir, – I note that just four, yes, four, female TDs have declared that they will not back the holding of a referendum on abortion. Clearly women know more about these things than men (who will never experience any pregnancy, never mind an unwanted or dangerous one). Very telling indeed. – Yours, etc,

SHEILA DEEGAN,

Dublin 3.

Sir, – Yes, I respect and sympathise with Ciara Beades’s (January 13th) concern about “a woman’s right to choose”, “women’s inalienable right to bodily autonomy” and “access to healthcare.” But not at the price of a human life. – Yours, etc,

Fr FREDDY

WARNER, SMA

Portumna, Co Galway.

Sir, – Further to the reported stance of TDs around the country on the question of abortion, it appears that not only can Dublin be an unsafe city for children to grow up in, but it can also be a very unsafe place for them to be conceived. – Yours, etc,

EAMON FITZPATRICK,

Sligo.

Sir, – Ciara Beades (January 13th) speaks forcefully on behalf of “Mná na hÉireann”, but who I wonder will speak for “Leanaí­na hÉireann”, the invisible and voiceless ones, on the increasingly perilous journey to be born. We are engaging with a profound and complex moral dilemma here to which there are no simple answers, on either side. If not faith, let us have hope at least that we will not choose to bury this fact in slogans and polemics. – Yours, etc,

TONY DEVLIN,

Dublin 15.