The Irish Times Thursday July 19th 2007
LEGISLATING FOR ABORTION
Madam, - Brian Stewart (July 16th) claims that the letter of July 12th from Louise Caffrey of Choice Ireland lacked "honesty and reality in debate". It is welcome that supporters of the pro-life movement have developed a new-found concern for an honest and realistic debate on abortion, since the absence of such qualities never seemed to bother them in the past.
Anti-abortion activists display a high level of selective amnesia. This is the very movement that gave Ireland the so-called "pro-life" amendment of 1983, assuring the Irish people that it would impose a total ban on abortion in Ireland. In fact the amendment created a constitutional basis for legal abortion in certain circumstances, according to the Supreme Court decision in the X case.
The pro-life movement has promoted two further referendums since 1983 to undo the consequences of its own mistake, which of course was never publicly acknowledged. Both of these amendments (in 1992 and 2002) were rejected by the people.
Clearly the majority of the electorate also showed a lack of honesty and a feeble grasp of reality, in failing to follow the enlightened leadership of the pro-life movement. Or could it be that you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time? - Yours, etc,