Letters: Pro-life concerns have been legitimised

Supporters gather at Dublin Castle ahead of the result of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment on May 26, 2018, when Ireland voted in favour of repealing the abortion ban. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Letters to the Editor

Ellen Coyne begins her article with an emotional appeal by Dr Mary Favier to remove the three-day waiting period before an abortion (‘The three-day abortion wait is FG’s intellectual property – if it’s going to remain, the party needs to explain why’, Irish Independent, April 29). She then refers to an “independent” review of the abortion legislation, when it was anything but.

All members involved in the review were very supportive of abortion while Health Minister Stephen Donnelly refused any contact with any group with reservations about the effect of the legislation. Ms Coyne goes on to claim that “it seems that it is political horse trading that saddled Irish women with the infamous, obstructive and moralistic three-day waiting period”.

She refers to “three separate pieces of research that found no merit for making such a pause mandatory – a survey by the Irish Family Planning Association, Dr Catherine Condon’s Unplanned Pregnancy and Abortion Care study and Marie O’Shea’s independent review of the operation of the law”. None of these could by any stretch of the imagination be regarded as independent, when all are fully behind unlimited abortion.

Ms Coyne also refers to this wait being “a sacrifice to get it (repeal) over the line”.

Therefore, is it being admitted that it was thought that people should be persuaded to vote Yes because of it, but, now that the people have been fooled, it can be removed?

No word at all about the number of babies saved by women changing their minds and not going ahead with the abortion.

Pro-life groups were accused of scaremongering when they queried if the repeal of the Eighth was just the start of unlimited abortion here. Now with 8,500 abortions here last year, it seems they were justified. Remember, too, that we were assured that abortion would be rare here if we voted for repeal. What is rare about nearly 30,000 abortions occurring here over three years? The Eighth Amendment protected both mothers and babies. Now we are being subjected to permitting more and more abortions with the tragic loss of innocent lives. Progress? I don’t think so.

Mary Stewart

Ardeskin, Donegal

Nothing ‘hysterical’ about these complex decisions

Sarah Carey employs an interesting and telling word to describe the campaign against the Government’s plans to move the National Maternity Hospital to a site at St Vincent’s – “hysterics” (The Eighth is gone, but we shouldn’t fire doctors for refusing to perform abortions’, Irish Independent, April 29). It was never hysterical to insist that a new, multi-billion-euro hospital, constructed at public expense, should be in public ownership and free from all religious interference. Nor is it hysterical to insist that no doctor should be allowed to weaponise their right to conscientious objection to obstruct anyone else’s right to access legal abortion services. The word “hysterical” was used by men for centuries to imply that women were incapable of rationality, being controlled by their errant uteruses.

It should not be used in the 21st century to suggest that they are incapable of making considered, complex decisions about their own bodies and their own healthcare – or, indeed, their own hospitals.

Bernie Linnane

Chair, Our Maternity Hospital Campaign Against Church Ownership Of Women’s Healthcare, Dromahair, Co Leitrim

Government must react to this implicit Russian threat

After the Russian ambassador’s implicit threat to the people of Ireland in response to the Government’s issuing its support for the family of an Irishman killed fighting in Ukraine, three things must now happen.

The Government must now advise all Irish citizens to leave all Russian territories, as they have clearly been threatened. After giving Irish citizens a period of time to leave Russia, we should not wait for the EU to tell us to kick the Russian ambassador out, we should lead the way for Europe to follow.

A referendum should be held on our neutrality with a view to joining Nato.

Anything less would be pure cowardice on the part of the parties in Government.

Anthony McGeough

Dublin 24

Join vigil to show support for the Ukrainian struggle

It’s obvious that Russian Ambassador Yuri Filatov is unaware of or couldn’t care about the depth of continued Irish support for the Ukrainians in their just struggle against an evil dictatorship. Maybe he needs to be reminded? We could also honour Finbar Cafferkey’s ultimate sacrifice by having a silent vigil outside the Russian embassy next Saturday at noon. No speeches, no politicians or political banners, just people of all nationalities coming together in support of the Ukrainian people.

Dr Aidan Hampson

Artane, Dublin

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