Texas law on abortion and Ireland

 

Sir, – The sub-head on Seána Glennon’s opinion piece (“Texas abortion law a salutary reminder we cannot be complacent”, Opinion, September 14th) gives me hope.

It reads: “No reason why Irish abortion legislation cannot be reversed if public opinion changes.”

But then it is obvious that Ms Glennon is in fact issuing a warning. She sees the new Texas anti-abortion law as “a blow to reproductive rights”. She laments the fact that the new law will “prohibit at least 85 per cent of abortion procedures”.

When I read that I think of the lives that will be saved, the babies that will be given the opportunity to live. She gives an interesting description of the convoluted mechanism by which the Texas law is to be enforced, but then resorts to old tropes – referring to Irish pre-repeal laws “forcing” Irish women to travel for terminations. Yes these women faced difficult challenges and choices but none were “forced” abroad, they chose to go, sometimes perhaps under pressure from unsupportive and self-serving boyfriends, parents or even husbands.

Ms Glennon is a PhD law student, so it is surprising that she referred to the “so-called Eighth Amendment” – it was, in fact, literally the Eighth Amendment to our Constitution.

As with the Texas law, I think of the lives that were undoubtedly saved over the years by that amendment, though curiously that got little attention in the media during our referendum campaign.

– Yours, etc,

BRENDAN O’REGAN,

Arklow,

Co Wicklow.