170,216 Irish Women And Girls Are Murderers Because They Had Abortions?

The Journal has a feature on yesterday’s small protest outside the iconic GPO building in Dublin, the seat of the revolutionary Provisional Government in Easter 1916, by the organisation, Cherish All The Children Equally. The grouping purports to be “progressive, republican and of the left” while also being anti-choice, joining the rancorous campaign against the abolition of the Eight Amendment of Bunreacht na hÉireann, which prohibits the provision of abortion services in Ireland. One of those attending the demonstration offered the following opinions on Sinn Féin’s foot-dragging move towards its current pro-choice policy and the possible introduction of the medical procedure to the country:

“They are going to murder our future generations after fighting for generations to protect the Irish people. Now they’re in a situation where they’re going to murder our future generations and have no compulsion about it.

“Just because someone is doing something illegal, you don’t just legalise it and make it easier for them. To murder a baby, in my estimation is wrong, and you can’t legalise it,” he adds.

Which begs the obvious question. Did the 170,216 Irish women and girls who travelled overseas in search of terminations between January 1980 and December 2016 commit murder? Should those 170,216 citizens of the Republic, from underage girls to middle-aged women, be classified as murderers in the eyes of the general public? Should we enact legislation to criminalise such individuals, to prosecute those who seek or have had abortions outside the jurisdiction, and those families and friends who abet their actions, just as we charge those persons resident in Ireland who procure acts of female genital mutilation outside the technical borders of the State?

Or is it the case that the people who style themselves as radically or militantly “pro-life”, who call abortion “murder” and women who have abortions “murderers”, know full well that neither of those accusations stand up to any scrutiny? Or can be regarded as even remotely sustainable?

Notably, the website for Cherish All The Children Equally gives a prominent place to a quote from the notorious anti-abortion activist, Alveda King, the close associate of Gay Mitchell, Fine Gael’s failed presidential hopeful in 2011. King gained her fame among the ultra-conservative Evangelical movement in the United States through her equation of equal marriage with “genocide” and the belief that god “hates homosexuality”.

Which are sentiments that are hardly progressive, republican or of the left.

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24 comments

  1. What is it about the single celled Zygote floating down the fallopian tube that entitles it to 9 months of womb and board?

        1. Talk to a woman (like myself) who has had abortions and you’ll find out that there are a variety of terms she uses to describe the conceptus ( a fine latin term, in my opinion). The whole clump of cells thing…not so much. Sometimes baby, often fetus, often not named/characterised since what the experience really is,is one of dynamic and rapid bodily change. This is especially true within the first six weeks.
          There was no “baby” and there was no other soul. It was just me.
          But don’t take my word for it. Talk to women who have had abortions and see if they’ll fill you in. They’re the ones that should be listened to.

            1. Wolfe Tone, no one other than the woman is capable of providing proof. It ain’t your body; it ain’t your evidence.
              Also, it’s so funny when people brandish fetal remains, as if
              A. I’d/we’ve never seen them before (we have)
              B. we’re vampires. (we’re not).

              1. Eh men and women are being asked to vote so it should be democratic that all can see what they may be voting for. I don’t see why you have a problem with that I.e common sense?

  2. I would imagine the attitude would be that the 170,000+ women did commit murder, but the 1 person they know who had an abortion (daughter, sister, cousin, friend) did not. Through such compartmentalisation is the purity of their position maintained.

    1. Totally agree. It’s all fine and good to be anti-abortion until the question comes closer to home. I personally know of one case where the parents were avowedly anti-abortion – until their youngest was caught out, as it were. Then she was over and back from the UK in a thrice, mammny and daddy paying for it all, and no more word of it.

      Based upon a recent conversation, both are still against abortion in Ireland, and will be voting No.

      Remarkable.

      You have to wonder, looking at some of the affluent Iona types, how much of it is abortion for the moneyed classes who can afford the costly trip overseas to fix their dilemma, and how much of it is NIMBYism in all other circumstances.

      1. In the late 80s the most virulently anti-abortion mouth in our village found their daughter in the same situation and resolved it in the very same manner. Never changed their opinion either. It likely is a common story in Ireland.

        My stomach was well turned by the Kerry Babies story, the numbers of teenage girls committing suicide while pregnant or infanticide soon after birth in the 80s. While simultaneously the same anti-abortion groups opposed sex education and contraception. I cannot endorse a situation where a single celled zygote is so important that it is worth that price.

        During the 8th amendment campaign opponents pointed out all the problems it would cause, the X case and others, the 8th supporters angrily, condescendingly and contemptuously insisted none of these scenarios would ever manifest or be a problem. They were wrong then and they are wrong now.

        At the end of the day if you oppose abortion you are supporting the pregnancy and motherhood of raped 12 year olds. No zygote is so valuable that one can callously condemn a 12 year old to such a fate.

              1. “Pull my head in” – Why?

                Face it – you have right wing views. Like most right-wing views they are inconsistent with each other. Unborn foetuses must be preserved at any cost to the mother, but once these children grow up and diverge from how you decide they should live, just kill them. “Right to life”? Don’t make me laugh.

  3. My general political etc. outlook would make me definitely “pro-choice”. However when I consider my own origins, from the limited information I have available (and I certainly don’t intend to go into the details) it seems more than likely that if abortion had been available at a particular time and place, I simply wouldn’t exist. Should I therefore go and drown myself or otherwise correct the ‘mistake’?

    1. Absolutely not. I’m quite possibly in the same situation myself, as it happens. And I wouldn’t blame my mother if she – and my father – had sought an alternative solution to the unfortunate and initially unwanted accident that occurred to them both. If I wasn’t born, what would it matter beyond me personally contemplating it here and now? You can’t project one’s own existential ruminations onto other situations or potential situations. Let each women choose, free of compulsion, up to 12 weeks.

      But if people are going to take the “abortion is murder” line then they need to explain what they mean by that and defend their explanation.

  4. “Should those 170,216 citizens of the Republic, from underage girls to middle-aged women, be classified as murderers in the eyes of the general public?”
    That standpoint makes no sense. Just because a lot of people are involved doesn’t make it righter or wronger. It’s no more radical a thought than claiming all gay people will go to hell or saying that unbaptised children will go to limbo or identifying a whole generation of Germans as complicit in the genocide of the Jews.

  5. Always amusing to note how the Adelaide is never referenced when discussing abortion in Ireland. D&Cs at the Adelaide where almost always a cover for abortion.

  6. Abortion is the last thread of the Catholic church and the likes of the self appointed Iona Institute to force their beliefs on the public, times have moved on and better education plus the paedophile scandals and cover up of the former has helped people to see the situation in perspective and I will be surprised if it’s not passed

  7. Its easy to see that people have a different view on their own families actions than to strangers. This applies to most crimes, probably even murder.

    This would naturally explain any implied hypocrisy. Its true of almost all crimes.

    A question though; some pro-choice advocates believe in abortion up until full term in all cases. As a matter of bodily autonomy. So cases well beyond any dispute a out “cells”. And some believe it is a life but because it is dependent on the woman it simply doesnt matter. So late term abortions.

    Would you agree these are advocates for murder? If not, why restrict it at all? Most pro-choicers advocate up to a certain limit.

    So arent you calling those on your fringe ( a minority, but a perspective offered enough to not be an anomoly) would be murderers? If not, what do you call them? Misguided?

    If your not in favour of full choice even in late term, then you surely must call these advocates the advocates of murder no?

    The perspective that abortion should be available whenever a woman wants is in no way an outlandish proposal on the pro-choice side. Its the natural conclusion when one brings it down only to a matter of bodily autonomy.

    The only reason it doesnt proliferate in the debate is the vast majority of society finds it abhorrant. But the legnts of when it is acceptable become the new bateground. Do you think those at the extreme end of the pro choice side in that case are would be murderers? If not. When is a life a life? Not until it leaves the womb?

    1. I should add I dont think abortion is murder. Its difficult to legislate where life begins and so determine when something attains personhood. Murder is not really appropriate, but that’s different from endorsing the process of the operation in general. The question I would ask is would people classify an illegal late term when there is no abnornality abortion as murder? Is there no piint except when out if tge womb where you would consider it murder? And because it is unlikely to happen, what do you call its advocates? Because they do exist.

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