Sunday 21 January 2018

Liz Kearney: It is time to leave men out of abortion debate

Peter Mathews's ham-fisted comments caused shock among women
Peter Mathews's ham-fisted comments caused shock among women

THERE is an argument you don't often hear, one made occasionally by those on the fringes of the pro-choice movement, which suggests that legislation relating to reproduction, and more specifically to abortion, should be decided by women alone.

The minority who advance this viewpoint suggest that key decisions on the topic should be limited to the female half of the population – because, they argue, it is women's lives who are chiefly affected by their outcome.

If we followed this logic, only the women of Ireland would vote in any future abortion referendums, and only female TDs and senators would have any say on the current Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. This argument is only rarely made, for the obvious reason that even staunch female pro-choice advocates are reluctant to colonise the decision-making process on a gender basis alone.

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