Tuesday 14 August 2018

How to find an alternative to 'unethical and inhumane' abortion on demand

I believe it is time for a historical compromise to bring both sides together in the divisive abortion debate

'One way or another, we are heading for a divided society that will leave the division of the British people on Brexit in the halfpenny place. Perhaps it is time for a historical compromise.' (stock photo)
'One way or another, we are heading for a divided society that will leave the division of the British people on Brexit in the halfpenny place. Perhaps it is time for a historical compromise.' (stock photo)

Gay Mitchell

I find it hard to believe the majority of those who support the deletion of the Eighth Amendment want to see abortion available on demand in Ireland. Yet, that is what is on offer. In addition, the promise of limiting abortion to the first 12 weeks cannot be delivered on because this Dail and Seanad, or a future Oireachtas, could amend it at will.

I have been a member of Fine Gael since I was 16 years old. I will be with those Fine Gael members who oppose the current proposals. I am also a practising Catholic. My faith tells me, as does science, that life begins at conception. However, I realise I cannot impose my beliefs on others. I also realise that others cannot impose their beliefs on me. In a democratic society, compromise, however distasteful, is sometimes necessary. In every issue, intent is what defines if an action is ethical. In my view, an ethical compromise could be arrived at on this issue. For that to happen, the current proposals must be turned down.

Many years ago, I persuaded a highly indignant community, which felt it had been very badly treated, not to appeal a planning permission for a homeless housing scheme for vulnerable people but instead to enter into negotiations with the sponsoring organisation in relation to its proper management. The organisation had its planning permission and the residents were told there would be no further conversation. They appealed to An Bord Pleanala and the entire proposal was overturned. With much delay, the issue had to be approached in another way.

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