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Readers blog: Those who are faith informed should not be silenced in Repeal debate

As a society we have taken steps at different times to ensure that the State does not over step the mark when it comes to exercising rights over life and liberty.

We have stipulated guarantees of neutrality as a condition of our international treaties, rejecting at least one European Referendum until this was copper fastened.

It is clear that we do not wish to be drawn in to unmeritorious conflicts with loss of life to our servicemen or to others.

The death penalty was constitutionally prohibited as part of the twenty first amendment to the constitution in 2001, although no execution had taken place in the preceding forty-seven years.

All of this underpins a consciousness that the State’s rights are qualified by superior rights of the individual - the right to life being the most basic of all.

This determination to respect life would be radically altered by the regime envisaged by abortion proponents.

In the context of a repeal, giving present and future parliamentarians an expandable legislative mandate by removing constitutional control would run counter to the best and most protective instincts of Irish people.

Perhaps it is the inability to see unborn life as distinct yet dependent which is at the heart of the debate.

Inequality beyond anything ever witnessed in our society would become the new civic and legal reality.

While one unborn child is the object of eager anticipation and the most painstaking pre- natal care, another is subjected to a haunting rejection without any legal recourse.

The nation that cherishes all its children equally would have made a decision that this child shall not be born, shall not be one of us, even though our society as a whole has the capacity to embrace such a child and help it reach its fulfillment.

Many, though not all, on the pro-life side are “faith informed”, that is our religious beliefs augment our natural awareness of life related issues.

We do not see this as hindering us in any sense from participation in the debate.

Interestingly we do not encounter doctrinaire abortion supporters pointing to the tenets of any religion to justify their stance.

Neither can we find anything in the classical Hippocratic Oath of medicine which might favour abortion, only a specific prohibition.

When our opponents say that we are unflinching on the abortion topic we answer yes; we uphold the right to life from conception to natural death.

To those who questions our churches’ positions I as a Catholic answer: The Church is uncompromising because she believes, she is compassionate because she loves.

Maurice O’Brien


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