The Eighth Amendment


Sir, – The Irish Times continues its extensive coverage of the abortion debate, but I note that it also continues in giving over almost the entire discussion of this issue to pro-life and pro-choice advocates who occupy the extreme ends of public opinion.

While this approach does offer some kind of balance, it is also failing your readership in one important respect

It is, I trust, not controversial to say that a central consideration on the issue of abortion is the question of when the unborn becomes a person with the right to life.

The results of the Irish Times/MRBI poll of May 27th would suggest that a clear majority of people believe that this occurs at some point after conception but before birth.

However, the pro-life side of the debate has long been dominated by conservative Catholics who believe that human life is sacred and inviolable from conception.

The pro-choice side prefer that the conversation focus exclusively on the emotional and physical suffering of women facing crisis pregnancies.

Neither side has any interest in discussing whether term limits should be imposed on abortion or what those limits should be.

As a result, the debate on your pages has largely failed to address questions that are ethically important and vital to any practical implementation of abortion legislation.

I ask that The Irish Times publish pieces that address the question of term-limits directly, so that facts and arguments that could be persuasive to the large majority in the “middle ground” of this debate do not remain unexplored. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.