Opinion Analysis

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Mary Kenny: Why older women stay silent in the abortion debate

Abortion has been a divisive issue in Ireland, heightened by two referendums including this one in 2002
Abortion has been a divisive issue in Ireland, heightened by two referendums including this one in 2002
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

When I was a younger journalist, I was assigned to write a feature about the abortion debate; this entailed contacting a dozen or so female celebrities and asking them their opinion about abortion law.

I duly did so and gathered a sufficient number of interviews to compose a balanced article, but I noticed that some older women preferred to withhold their opinions.

"I think I'll pass on this one," I was told more than once. It wasn't that they lacked candour or courage. No: a more complex answer emerged. These older women might once have had strong convictions one way or another, but as they had matured, they were inclined to see just how complicated it all was, personally and ethically.

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