Fr Vincent Twomey: Why abortion bill is a prime example of moral weakness
AS German philosopher, Josef Pieper, pointed out, "abuse of language is abuse of power". It is not without significance that the term "abortion" is not to be found in the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, which is currently before the Oireachtas.
A separate article would be needed to study how the framers of the bill have used language – most obviously in the title of the bill itself – not to clarify but to obfuscate, and so legislate for direct abortion without even using the term. The tortuous language used to define "unborn" to avoid the use of the word "child" is a case in point.
The aim of this article is, however, more limited: it is to consider the question of conscience as it is addressed in the bill, although the demands of conscience also arise in connection with how our legislators vote on the proposed measure.