The Catholic Church is absent in Ireland’s abortion referendum

May 3, 2018 by

by Melanie McDonagh, Spectator:

The Irish referendum on abortion takes place in just under three weeks’ time, and while the polls suggest a hefty majority in favour, the narrative of inexorable change towards a more liberal Ireland sometimes goes off script. At a feminist forum last month, the anarchic grande dame of Irish republican feminism, Nell McCafferty, 74, brooded out loud: ‘I’ve been trying to make up my mind on abortion. Is it the killing of a human being?’ She couldn’t answer. ‘But it’s not that I’m unable — I am unwilling to face some of the facts about abortion.’

You can’t imagine that kind of plain speaking in Britain. Yet the debate in Ireland revolves around first principles to an extent that would be impossible here. You can see it in the signs on street posts where, traditionally, political campaigns are visibly fought out. The pro-choice posters range from ‘Sometimes a private choice needs public support’ to, more combatively, ‘Our Bodies, Our Choice, Vote YES’.

On the other side, the pro-life campaign focuses squarely on the foetus or child. One, showing a grainy scan reads: ‘I’m nine weeks old, I can yawn and kick… don’t repeal me.’ Lots of these have been torn down.

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