Wednesday 24 January 2018

Pro-choicers should see abortion as a necessary social evil

If the pro-choice lobby is ever to win the legislative argument, writes Donal Lynch, they first need to be more honest about the horror abortion entails

Donal Lynch

Donal Lynch

Ann McElhinney and Phelim MacAleer are a married couple from Ulster (Donegal and Omagh respectively) who've lived in America for quite a few years. They've made provocative films, most notably around climate change and the effects of fracking, which have made them minor darlings of the conservative Right there. It probably isn't surprising, therefore, that when they came to write this month in the Irish Times about abortion and their new film - which deals with notorious abortionist Kermit Gosnell - they focussed on the traditional American scapegoat for abortion: the doctor.

Gosnell, of course, is their biggest villain in this regard; the film describes him as 'America's most prolific serial killer', and he is serving consecutive life sentences for the first degree murder of three babies born alive at his clinic. But the couple also imply, without stating outright, that all abortionists are serial killers.

In several US states you can have, and people do have, abortions up to the day of delivery, they point out. The procedures generally used include dissecting the foetus live inside the womb, injecting potassium chloride directly into its heart and, the ultimate horror, which follows the cases in which the injection misses its mark: the baby will be born alive and given "comfort care" - a blanket lain over it until it "passes".

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