The Eighth Amendment and voters
Sir, – Una Mullally asserts that the Life Institute listed 150 pro-life candidates standing in the general election (“Election result is not a victory for anti-abortion lobby”, Online Opinion & Analysis, March 2nd). In fact, our #VoteProLife initiative identified some 107 candidates who were opposed to the repeal of the Eight Amendment.
Some 53 candidates who opposed the repeal of the amendment were elected – 43 candidates from our list, and at least another 10 Fine Gael TDs who publicly stated they were opposed to overturning the amendment, but were not included in the list because the party legalised abortion in 2013.
The vast majority of constituencies returned a pro-life candidate. Some, like Kerry and Kildare North, returned two or three, while all three of the Roscommon/Galway TDs elected oppose the repeal of the amendment or voted against abortion. It’s worth noting that seven out of the top 10 vote-getters in the country were included on the Life Institute list.
As Una Mullally herself points out, some 177 candidates signed a pledge from abortion campaigners to repeal the Eighth Amendment. She doesn’t say that only 20 per cent of those were subsequently elected – and that 43 TDs who voted for abortion in 2013 have now lost their seats, including many of the most vociferous supporters of abortion legislation, such as Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and Anne Ferris.
In fact, Labour, which repeatedly put the repeal of the amendment at the front of its election manifesto, and which proclaimed that it was a “red-line” issue for the party, lost 80 per cent of the seats it had previously held. The party has almost been wiped out.
If the election was a referendum on the importance of repealing the Eighth Amendment for the electorate – and abortion campaigners insisted it was – then the abortion push couldn’t have been more decisively rejected.
It seems that, despite massive media support and well-financed campaigns, abortion supporters have failed to win the support of the Irish people in regard to removing constitutional protection from unborn babies. Perhaps that is because most people do believe that, as a progressive and compassionate society, we can provide a better answer than abortion. – Is mise,
NIAMH UÍ BHRIAIN,
The Life Institute,
Gardiner Place, Dublin 1.