Tuesday 14 August 2018

Abortion is an issue for all of us, not just the doctors

Yes campaigners have arrogantly used pro-repeal doctors as a human shield in the referendum debate

EXPERT OPINION? Dr Peter Boylan and Minister Simon Harris both joined in the criticism of last week’s televised debate
EXPERT OPINION? Dr Peter Boylan and Minister Simon Harris both joined in the criticism of last week’s televised debate

Eilis O'Hanlon

Writing at the start of the last century, GK Chesterton saw the future of propaganda. And it was wearing a stethoscope. "There are many strictly modern things which could be used very easily as instruments for suppressing opinion," he observed. "For instance, doctors."

The referendum on removing the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution has been an extended exercise in proving him right. Nowhere have fallacious arguments from authority been thrown around more prodigally than in this campaign. The Government may even have deliberately taken a back seat from the debate in favour of doctors, in the mistaken belief that this would depoliticise the issue of abortion.

Every time certain doctors speak in favour of Yes, the great unwashed are expected to look on in awe, doffing their caps to their betters.

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