On Saturday the 20th of August, two Irish woman, citizens of this Republic, travelled to the United Kingdom where one of them sought an abortion in a clinic approved by the UK’s National Health Service; a medical procedure that is illegal, and thus unavailable, in Ireland. They chronicled their journey via Twitter in a series of messages directed to Enda Kenny TD, Taoiseach na hÉireann, gathering considerable publicity and sympathy for their plight (#twowomentravel). Their actions highlighted once again the reality for thousands of woman on this island nation who are forced to travel overseas to avail of something that most reasonable people recognise should be available here at home. Both individuals have my respect and admiration.
The same cannot be said of the vile, misogynist troglodytes who form the activist body of the anti-abortion lobby. I am not referring here to ordinary decent “pro-life” people, with their understandable concerns. I’m speaking instead of the militant fundamentalists on Facebook, Twitter and right-wing news websites like the so-called “Liberal”, whose hate-filled fulminations can be compared to those of the most intolerant strands of radical Islam. Last weekend showed the beliefs and attitudes of these people at their rawest, their ignorance, paranoia and contempt.
Judge not, that ye be not judged?