Tuesday 17 October 2017

We need to discuss abortion - that includes men

President Michael D Higgins and wife Sabina in Liberty Hall following the State ceremony for James Connolly. Photo: Gerry Mooney
President Michael D Higgins and wife Sabina in Liberty Hall following the State ceremony for James Connolly. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

We need to talk. Not shout, claim the high ground for our views, or seek to monsterise those with a different perspective. An honest and considered conversation about the 'A word' is overdue.

People dread it because abortion arouses 'sturm und drang' like no other subject. But it can't be postponed for fear of the extremes of opinion it will stir up. This discussion needs to happen because a question mark hovers over whether the current legislation on abortion is a true reflection of what Irish society wants.

It is almost 33 years since the constitutional ban on abortion known as the Eighth Amendment was made law. Those who voted for it in 1983 are long past childbearing age - the youngest among them are in their early fifties. Meanwhile, another generation has grown up under this flawed amendment with its imprecise wording that has led to decades of wrangling.

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