Blaming the Brits

As a Brit living in Ireland I’m used to being blamed for everything that ever went wrong over here. These include Oliver Cromwell, the Famine and pints of Guinness being poured in one go without a respectful pause.

This attitude is now being extended to the forthcoming Irish referendum on the repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Irish constitution, the clause which grants ‘the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.’

The result of this clause has been that women who, for whatever reason, decide that they need an abortion are forced either to travel to the UK or another country or – and this is becoming even more prevalent – order suitable ‘abortion pills’ off the internet, and administer them to themselves. It is, as the phrase goes over here, an Irish solution to an Irish problem.

The government has at last decided to act, and is proposing a very sensible change to the constitution which will remove the above clause and substitute one which allows the Irish Oireachtas (parliament) to bring in a new bill. This, the government has stated, will allow unlimited abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy. Another sensible decision, since this allows there not to be a special clause covering pregnancy as a result of rape or incest.

However, this sensible change is being opposed tooth and nail by the ‘pro-life’ lobby, and the above posters are now being installed around Dublin. The implication in them is that the new proposal is being foisted on an unsuspecting nation by the Brits and their Godless ways, trying to ‘bring abortion to Ireland’.  I hope this narrow nationalism will be soundly defeated on 25 May and I’m pleased to say that my 22-year-old daughter and her friends, who are currently studying abroad, have already booked flights home in order to vote.
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