Monday 5 December 2016

Our dithering politicians can't sit comfortably on the fence on abortion issue for much longer

Gerard O'Regan

Published 18/06/2016 | 02:30

A woman on O’Connell Street, Dublin, at a Choice Ireland demonstration in protest at the treatment of a suicidal pregnant woman who was refused an abortion. Photo: Collins
A woman on O’Connell Street, Dublin, at a Choice Ireland demonstration in protest at the treatment of a suicidal pregnant woman who was refused an abortion. Photo: Collins

Deeply held beliefs on both sides of the argument, coupled on occasion with hypocrisy and self-delusion, are again part of a tangled web ensnaring us in another high-octane abortion debate.

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And lurking in the background for many is a quiet realisation that in the event of a personal emergency, there is always the option of taking a Ryanair flight to have a pregnancy terminated in a UK clinic.

But all the while, the underlying reality is that attitudes to one of the great existential challenges of modern life will continue to evolve one way or the other. Those politicians who like to sit on the fence, particularly on this issue, will in time find their middle-ground balancing act untenable. The politics of fudge and "constructive ambiguity" will no longer work.

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