Friday 9 December 2016

Will it ever be possible to have a calm, mutually respectful abortion debate?

Eilis O'Hanlon

Published 12/06/2016 | 02:30

Colm O'Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland Photo: Eamonn McPartland
Colm O'Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland Photo: Eamonn McPartland

At a time when we're supposed to be more free than ever to think what we want to think and say what we want to say, it ought to be easier to have opinions that go against the mainstream.

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On the contrary, it's becoming harder, to the point now where many choose to self-censor and stay silent rather than face the opprobrium that would descend on them if they dared to admit they don't support same-sex marriage, for instance, or don't think that women should have the automatic right to an abortion.

It's a toss-up as to which of those is the greater heresy these days. It depends which one is most exercising the minds of the virtue-signallers and social-justice warriors who dominate public debate around ethical issues, especially on social media, where admitting to having so-called fam-ily values is akin to announcing that you sometimes yearn for a return of the Third Reich. Currently it's abortion.

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