Monday 24 July 2017

Why my fellow Repealers can't face the facts around abortion

As the abortion debate rages, Donal Lynch says appropriating the morality of the Right will be the key to Repeal

Difficult issue: Abortion rights will always be a controversial cause Photo: Steve Humphreys
Difficult issue: Abortion rights will always be a controversial cause Photo: Steve Humphreys

Donal Lynch

You might think Repeal the Eighth supporters would be quietly heartened by someone coming out and speaking publicly for their cause. My experience on Claire Byrne Live last week clearly showed me that this was not the case.

I told Claire I supported abortion rights for all women in this country, but that I felt the pro-choice movement consistently fails to deal with the central argument of the other side - that abortion ends a life. On Twitter, feminists and Repealers picked apart my phrasing - a true pro-choice person would never use the phrase abortion "on demand" they chided (I get the argument that "demand" makes it sound like a consumerist whim, but doesn't the phrase "on request" sound like a timid plea by comparison?).

Several people asked why I was speaking for women, something I never claimed I was doing. The comedian and writer, Tara Flynn, who has been open about her own abortion, told me outright that I might think I'm pro-choice, but I'm not. Even though I would be far more libertarian than the average Irish person on this subject. Even though I sincerely believe all women should be granted abortions when they ask for them. For the shrill Repeal sisterhood, it's not enough to want the same thing, we have to want it for the right reasons.

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