Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Letter to the Editor- Irish Independent

Majority left out in abortion row James Burkill

The debate on the issue of abortion is dominated by extremists on both sides.

On one side of the coin, we have the absolutist 'pro-life' movement who believe that abortion is wrong, no matter what the circumstances.

On the other side of the coin, we have the 'pro-choice' absolutists who think that women should have a right to chose to abort.

Both sides argue from emotion and both sides are responsible for consistently reducing this important debate to a pointless mud-slinging match.

The losers in this are the reasonable majority who don't fit the mould of either of these simplistic positions.

We don't even have a name for those of us who don't believe that abortion should be off limits entirely and also don't believe that women should have the right to choose.

Those of us who believe that abortion should be allowed only under a specific, well-defined set of circumstances, as far as I can tell, are not even represented, and yet a poll in September suggests that we are in the majority.

Our position is more complicated than that of the pro-choice and pro-life lobbies and thus, we need to be well- informed.

You see, when you don't take an absolutist position, you can't determine exactly how you believe abortion should be legislated for without first hearing from experts in fields such as medicine, law and ethics. Unfortunately, we rarely hear from such experts in relation to the topic, thanks to the ignoramuses who hog the podium during any such debate.

I'm not suggesting that the issue can be settled by or decided by these experts. When it comes to issues of ethics and morality, it's up to each individual to make a decision on where they stand, but to make a decision, we need information and reasoned debate. If we can't get that with the pro-life and pro-choice campaigners around, maybe it's time we handed them their hats.


No comments: